gayathri: (Default)
Sunday morning, woke up to almost perfect blood sugars. I was in shock. but so so joyful. Almost called my doctor to let him know, but didnt want to wake him. I could do the ride!!

Stayed out of @byronium's way while he got ready for the ride:

Took a lot of deep breaths - I was really still nervous about doing this ride. I wasnt sure I could finish it. My 'training' hadnt been very much, and last weekends ride was painful. @byronium reiterated to me that he sincerely thought I could do it, and I took his and @llamaeyes comments from the Chris Carmichael talk to heart, and decided to do what I usually do - warm up, pedal thru, rest when I needed it, drink LOTS.

I got to the start fairly quickly - 1.5 miles just isnt very far, even if the last bit is all in the tiniest of gears... leaving around 7, I wondered if I'd see @byronium, but I didnt. The roads and the town of Yountville were COMPLETELY empty as I left the hotel. Not a soul on the road, it was pretty eerie.

"I'm so alone," I thought. And then came into the craziness that was the start. And still felt very alone in the big crowd. I made sure I was all ready, that my bike was all set, water bottles were full, inhalers and other drugs were available and waited for 8 am. A nice lady came over to talk to me, and we spoke about getting ready and being prepared for the ride. She made the mistake assuming I was a type 1. A lot of people did that on this ride.

She was pretty nervous about the 26 miles, but we talked about what she'd done to train for it, and how she felt, and I told her, "you wont know that you can do it until you've done it, but I believe given what youve said, you will be able to finish!"

I was telling myself the same thing.

Blood sugars good, the day was starting to warm up. I wanted to leave at 8, but told @llamaeyes I'd wait for her. @rhiannonstone arrived just before 8, having ridden the 6 miles or so from the hotel to the start. Apparently that's what she needed to do to eat breakfast. The smell of food made me want to barf, so I let her go and waited some more, after telling here where to find air pumps for her tires.

@llamaeyes and @moxie showed up just before 8 and it didnt take long for us to get started.

I remember going under the start line and hearing the announcer, "Look at that big smile!" as everyone yelled, "Go Red Rider!"
and realized I _was_ smiling. I could RIDE today! huzzah!!! I was looking forward to my body moving, my lungs taking in breath, my legs pumping.

I didnt take pics at all my stops, which I'm sad about! The 1st time was in this lovely space just outside of Yountville, big gorgeous fields rolling away. (I'm hoping @llamaeyes has some)

At the 5 mile mark, there wasnt more water, so I pushed on ahead. It was great getting @byronium's mass texts to all of us as he hit the different rest stops. I was glad he seemed to be moving so well and quickly.

1st Rest Stop:

Blood sugar was doing well, I was drinking plenty of cytomax and got to refill it. The Tour de Cure also had Cytomax powder, but the 100 / 80 milers had cleaned them. I was glad I had plenty of sticks of Cytomax - ended up giving a few away to folks. I was also using Accelerade, which has some protein as well as sugars, but I find that I need a lot less of it then is recommended (whey protein is still hard to digest for me. :/ ) It looks like for 50 miles and under, I can manage on just Cytomax, and should stick with it.

The next bit of riding wasnt bad, I was warmed up, and my lungs were happy, I started feeling like I was going to be ok! There were sections of road that were just painful in their bad pavement. My butt and wrists were not thanking me for this. oh look, scenery! I kept telling myself that.

Second rest stop! there was Cytomax powder here! I filled up. I drank. I tweeted, facebooked and texted. @llamaeyes and @rhiannonstone showed up. I stretched and drank some more, and headed on out after making sure @llamaeyes didnt need me.

at the 25 mile mark, I stopped, half way there, humming bon jovi to myself. This kinda neat place was across the street.

I managed to take a dorktastic picture of myself :
I took a short break at 25.something miles.  I drank more, and looked at my fone - I'd been posting to Facebook and Twitter and texting friends, but hadnt looked at any responses. The @tweets, and facebook support was _amazing_, friends, former coworkers, people coming out about their relationship with diabetes. Even folks who were supposedly out of town and unavailable took out time to text and connect. I started bawling. I mean, I didnt need to dehydrate myself this way, but this coupled with peletons of the 80 and 100 milers catching up and passing me, yelling "GO RED RIDER" and seeing other red riders pedaling so strongly, was amazing and touching and weepymaking. 

I probably cried all my sunblock off. and no, I didnt take a worse picture of myself like that. 

at the third and final rest stop, I was now feeling _awesome_ - blood sugars again still amazing, and I felt so good, I made the mistake on the ride. I saw some peanut butter sandwiches and thought, "oh! that looks good," and ate a quarter of one. BIG MISTAKE. completely upset my stomach. yuck. 

this was the only thing that spoiled the rest of the ride for me. I felt horrible, like I was going to throw up any minute, but managed to keep it all down and kept drinking even tho I no longer wanted to. This probably didnt help the dehydration much. (My blood sugars started shooting up. :/) 

the last few miles of the ride were in a really bad headwind. I tried cursing, but it didnt help. @llamaeyes and @rhiannonstone caught up to me at one point while I was hanging over my handlebars, I must have looked pretty green as they both commented. 

Mostly at this point, getting to the end was more about willpower and desire to Not Be On The Bike vs any joy in it. I missed that place where it felt good, like from miles 10 - 38... I was worried I wouldnt make it, so close to the end, and kept pedaling until I was back near the start. 

There's a small footbridge that leads up to the 'start finish' line, and I waited there, texting Moxie to let her know I was coming and waiting for @llamaeyes. (This is another story all together, HER issues and stressors getting to this ride,) and I wanted to cross the line with her, because she's been supporting me all the way (and hopefully, I was as well) 

Aside: she and I both have this issue, where we worry about other people so we dont have time to deal with ourselves. At dinner sat night, I tried to make her promise not to care about me at all and to concentrate on herself. I think I almost made her cry 'cause it was so hard for her to say that she would Take Care of herself. So I made it a little easier, and asked her to take good care of my Llama, and I would take good care of her Wolf. 

I heard her, "I can't stop! I mean, I could, but I dont want to!" and I said, "Dont worry, I'll catch up" and hopped on the bike and followed her across the footbridge. 

Having done this a few times before, I knew what was waiting for me at the end, and I was so so glad to share that with @llamaeyes. 

See, everyone who sees a red rider cross the finish line is supposed to CHEER like a crazy person. I dont like being so obvious and seen, so I have to stoke myself up for this, but its much more fun to share it with someone, and I'm glad she was there for me!! 

we waited for @rhiannonstone, who wasnt that far behind, and cheered her across the line. And after resting and drinking lots of liquids, came back down to cheer @byronium across the line as well. 

everyone was kind of floaty and stoned from this. I'm grateful for everyone's help and time and effort that it took to put on the event, and for the friends near and far who were really really THERE for me, as well as for @byronium, @llamaeyes and @rhiannonstone. 

Next year, will I do the 100? ;) 
gayathri: (Default)
 I wasnt sure a week ago that I'd be able to ride on Sunday. Even Saturday, my blood sugars were still all over the map. I felt like crap. My emotional control was pretty weak, leaving me feeling very lost and out of touch with the people around me. 
Read more... )(next post, the ride itself!) 

gayathri: (Default)
It had been a super long week - just with work and trying to figure out a schedule that would work to make sure that Byron can do enough riding to get into doing a Century in May, and making sure I get to spend SOME time in my place in SF, and he gets time in RWC.

Read more... )

So all in all, a really great weekend. So glad to be back bicycling. Looking forward to next weekend!

gayathri: (practice)
@byronium and I went to this last night:

and i'm really glad I did! It was fun meeting other Red Riders, and I learned about: <- women triatheletes with diabetes! omg.

I also met some awesome women who were really inspiring, as well as had an opportunity to talk to Dr. Suneil Koliwad, a research doctor at UCSF! We had a great chat about some things to try to help me with longer distance bicycling, and he recommended how to find a few doctors who might be helpful in terms of knowing enough about diabetes and athletic training to see if I can get over some humps.

I was really touched by some of the stories presented - I didnt know who the Bachelor was (probably the ONLY woman there who didnt) but his father's story was similar enough I was choked up about being afraid of admitting to it. It brought up struggles around being silenced by my family's shame, to silencing myself, to ignoring it, to letting it get out of control. I'm glad I had a wakeup before it actually killed me.

Who knew that 26 million people suffer from this? I didnt. Its impacted from so many issues from food safety, access, ethnicity, choices made by our parents, choices made by us in the past, its so complicated! 

The biggest, scareiest thing for me is that Just Having Diabetes, I've _doubled_ my chances of having a heart attack.

Some quick facts from last night: 
  • Diabetes affects 25.8 million people of all ages
    • 8.3 percent of the U.S. population
  • Among U.S. residents ages 65 years and older, 10.9 million, or 26.9 percent, had diabetes in 2010. (My father and uncle are in this group, btw.) 
  • In 2005–2008, based on fasting glucose or hemoglobin A1C (A1C) levels, 35 percent of U.S. adults ages 20 years or older had prediabetes—50 percent of adults ages 65 years or older. Applying this percentage to the entire U.S. population in 2010 yields an estimated 79 million American adults ages 20 years or older with prediabetes.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States.
    • AMPUTATIONS! BLINDNESS! huge fears for me. :/ 
  • Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.
  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

I'm deeply grateful for @byronium for coming with me last night, and for all my friends who are doing the ride both for themselves and in supporting me, it means a whole lot!

Please support me: even just the cost of a cup of coffee would mean a tremendous amount!

gayathri: (Default)

This week isnt our anniversary, but it was four years ago that Byronium and I went out on our first date. I'm still and continue to be so happy, in love, and joyful that we're together. :) 

Friday, I was having trouble eating. I had gotten into this state where nothing sounded good, but I needed to eat, so I’d just get so MAD at the food for not tasting as I wanted it. Its annoying and stressful, because I have to eat, and I want / need to eat well and healthy, but when I get into this tug of war with food not TASTING good even if its good for me, I end up just being a cranky whiney little bitch about the whole thing.

First world problem indeed. I’m grateful and fortunate that I can have this issue. Still doesn’t make it easier for my emotional side to deal with.

Steak sounded good. The only places I trusted to make steak that wouldn’t disappoint were booked up. Except one. Bourbon Steak. A slightly pricier place to go and eat than I’d have hoped, but still, remembering from last time, we decided on an appetizer, two sides and splitting one entrée with a couple of drinks would make sense. (its still expensive. Don’t get me wrong. But I hadn’t actually eaten any food in about three days that didn’t make me want to puke up, so frankly, the expense was worth it.)

Every bite was delicious. From kumomoto oysters, half a chilled, cleaned crab (yay for the 1st crab of the year being PERFECT!), my amazingly perfect bourbon drink, steak perfectly rare and marbled and soft. All these things died well and I am a lucky lucky person. Did I mention truffle mac and cheese? And duck fat fries? DUCK FAT FRIES. Everything I put in my mouth made me happy, tasted good, and didn’t upset my body at all.

Read more... )
gayathri: (girl)
 I did a metric century bicycle ride at the start of the month. Rides of 20-30 miles are easy enough to do these days without huge amounts of prep or even better,  recovery. I think I've got most of the food issues with using Victoza under control, and the things I felt like I needed a ton of support around with @byronium are mostly under control. 

My next goals are to start riding with other people who are better than me, not just @byronium - I"m holding HIM back in his riding because of his having to take care of me, and I finally feel good enough I can do this more on my own. I'm excited about this feeling of comfort for me around bicycling. My coworkers are getting more adamant about my trying it too. :) 

To make things more exciting, @byronium suggested he train for the 100 mile ride during the Napa Tour De Cure. :) I dont know yet if I'll try that, but I do want to sit with him and create the training plan and see if we / he can stick with it to do it. 

I know I can do the 50, no problem. Its flat! I think I can do the 80, so that's what I was aiming for, but for a century, this one isnt bad, especially with the elevation profile. 

I'm already signed up, btw: if you feel like helping me out with a donation. What I'd love help with this year is coming up with a plan to actually raise money. Wine and Art broke even, and I'm not sure if its because I didnt advertise it well, or what, but I need some marketing / fundraising help!! 

I'm looking forward to skiing this year! The season should be fun. 
I've also got my swim stuff together, so as soon as @llamaeyes is feeling well enough (or if someone else can) I'd like a few lessons to learn to paddle and breathe at the same time. :)

gayathri: (Default)
Last year, I did the Medio Fondo in a haze of depression, and sadness - I hadnt really been biking much after the awesome ride I had with the Tour de Cure and was completely unprepared for the ride - I struggled so much, and was finally done in by my body just giving up, ever muscle spasming and cramping. Coleman valley Road had become a symbol of this failure of mind, body and my ability to prepare for something. 

This year, practicing for the Tour de Cure, I was still struggling with cramps and issues with muscles giving out when I was doing rides longer than 30 miles. Blood levels all came back normal, so I've been uber careful with keeping hydrated and keeping lots of electrolytes in my system. 
rather long...  )

gayathri: (Default)

Given the vagaries of schedules coming up, this past weekend, was the one that we'd decided to try and do the pre-ride for the Piccolo Fondo. Trying to prevent more of the previous week's mishaps - I was finally forgiven with our Saturday friends for missing dinner entirely and almost missing the event itself - but only because @byronium cooked the most amazing pot roast the next evening to make up for it... I completely over-managed the actual ride planning, resulting in still yet ruffled feathers. I think most of them smoothed out but it did mean that I didnt get to spend a lot of time with @byronium except on the ride itself. But that was more than made up for by driving with @llamaeyes with the top down! and the heated seats! 

We got going about 30 minutes later than planned, but I'm really happy with how I did on this ride. Moving speed of 11.1 miles an hour would make for a pretty respectable pace if I can keep it up for 6 hours. My seat is not in the right place anymore and the muscles around my knees were suffering. i'm really looking forward to the fitting I'm getting done next weekend. 

Been working on making sure my blood sugar is good on these rides, andt his time, tried adding some perpetuam to my cytomax to try and add some protein to my liquid diet. It worked well, didnt really make me feel like I was going to throw up from having food in my stomach. 

This ride went better than last week's, tho the middle part, from mile 13-15 took a lot longer than I had expected - both @rhiannonstone and @llamaeyes struggled, but they made it! what a great inspiration for me! 

I had this weird reminder this weekend too, by @llamaeyes pointing out that I dont look like her on a bicycle. That other than my middle, i'm getting so lean in every way. (I think it makes my fat parts look fatter, actually, but I know I have an odd view of what I look like) The less weight is making it easier to go faster, having my flat speed be closer to 19mph and even to let the uphill speed get to something faster than walking. 

The worst part of the ride for me was the downhill where @byroniium hit abot 41mph - I had to slow down, because I jstu couldnt see - the overhanging trees were so dark, and the road was narrow, and it was hard to know if a car was going to do something stupid. I did have one almost hit me - a car with a bike rack on its back, with the driver yelling something unintelligible. Thanks, thanks for nothing at all, jerk! 

Biggest issue for me was my feet cramping up - the shoes are too loose! it hurt a lot. :( but didnt hurt my actual riding - i pedaled thru the pain, knowing hot water and ibuprofed would help it later. 

Getting back, @llamaeyes and I abandoned @byronium and @rhiannonstone around mile 26, as @llamaeyes was starting to feel like everything was going to go to hell and she really wanted to make sure she was back to her car. Of course, this is when we get lost. Fortunately for me, I recognized a road name and ralized we must have missed a turn. We added 2 miles and a hill to our ride, but poor @llamaeyes did it! @byronium and @rhiannonstone showed up a little after we did, finding the correct route tho there was mention of a gravel path - it wasnt clear if the correct route had offroading or they were just on the wrong part of the road. 

it still felt really great to be getting faster, even on the hills. My coworker, Stork thinks that I'll have the hills conquered as long as in my head, they are. I think its a mix of both making sure I get some longer distance biking in the next few weeks, as well as some seat time just pedaling during the week. 

Looking forward to the challenging month ahead! 

3 Bears!

Aug. 24th, 2011 08:17 am
gayathri: (Default)
This weekend, we did the Three Bears / Orinda / East Bay Reservoirs route. This one was tough the 1st time I did it last year and it took a long time before I was willing to try it again. But after last weekend's success with the hills even with crowds, I was looking to get some hillclimbing on. @llamaeyes wanted to go on a ride with us, and since she and @rhiannonstone are doing the Piccolo fondo in less than 6 weeks, I thought this would be challenging but good practice. (The Piccolo has a 3 mile, level 5 climb at the midpoint)

This is what we did:

3 Bears Orinda Loop by gayathrik at Garmin Connect - Details

tl..dr... )

gayathri: (girl)

I dont actually like big group rides. Let me just get that out of the way. The very first big ride I did was the Cinderella Classic, and I didnt finish it, but it was ok 'cause @crayonbeam, @JR, and @alicia were all there, and I had a pretty good time.

The next one, the Portland Bridge Pedal - I got it into my head it would be fun to go and ride over these bridges with Byron. And it was. I got a new bike. and then started riding more.

The next big group ride I did was the ADA Tour De Cure, and that had its own stressors - coming out as a diabetic (or a person with diabetes? still not sure how I identify there) But the actual ride itself, 50 miles in Napa, was amazing. It was really well managed, the rest stops were in the right places, and the encouragement from random strangers was so encouraging! I did great. Its still my 'gold standard' for organized bike rides. :)

The next big ride I did was 63, and it sucked. So many reasons - I didnt train at all, the metric century had hills that were insane. My body just wasnt going to do it, and it gave up. Ever since that ride, I've had this terror of hills - I am still not sure if its physical or psychological, but I've been really working hard on dealing with the psychological and taking the appropriate meds for the physical (Panic attacks, utter anxiety and fear, an inability to breath or see straight) But the ride itself was really scarey as well with the rolling start, so many REALLY good cyclists, the pseudo-encouragement from better bikers. Gah. I hated it. I'm going back this year just to prove to myself that I can do it. And to give the finger to those annoying 'helpful' bikers. (I'm still utterly terrified when I think about Coleman Valley Road...)

I wasnt sure about doing this one, so soon before the portland bridge pedal, but @rhiannonstone's been getting more into riding as well, and suggested we all go. Touted as a good ride for beginners to group rides, there was a 20, 31, 56/63 mile routes. After being prompted a few times by byronium , we opted for the 31.

I suggested that we pre-ride some of the route a few weeks before to see what might be problematic or what might need some work and so we did, last sunday: and rhiannonstone posted about her ride:

But we didnt do the 10 mile loop up to the Pulgas Water Temple, and I was a little nervous about how I'd handle the hills. It didnt help that when I got home sat night after dinner, I realized my front tire was completely flat again. That would make four flats in 3 weeks. AHRGH> but the thing about this is that I've gotten really good at taking off the tires and pulling the tubes.

@rhiannonstone had tweeted about ruining her manicure working on her bicycle, which reminded me to wear nitrile gloves while I did mine. ;)

Sleeping the night before was funny. I kept having annoying dreams about the ride itself. The ride itself was _awesome_ - we found each other easily, bikes were ready, we were ready, and off we went!

Its hard riding in a big group especially when I'm not that great at starting from a stop sometimes. For whatever reason, I felt really good and strong today and taking some of @llamaeyes suggestions, on this, I kept thinking more about how I was going to be successful vs how it was hard, and also just looking 10 feet in front of me when it got really tough.

We actually parted ways with @rhiannonstone and @llamaeyes before the big hill they had to tackle and headed to the water temple. This was a grind, but not bad, the worst part was how _damn_ cold it was that day - my chest wouldnt get warm enough and I kept having to use my inhaler to manage the cold induced asthma. :( As long as I was moving, I was fine. As soon as I stopped, this would start to physically hurt my muscles. :( Up the hill to the overpass - this section was a little scarey. The road was an unkempt bike path, very steep and narrow - it felt a little more like I was offroading vs road riding, but it was good when we finally hit the downhll section onto the road to the water temple.

This was a long slight downhill, and I got myself tucked in behind @byronium and got into the big ring. This was great, we were pedaling hard and I got up to 26 mph before we had to slow down for the rest stop / turn around. This was at mile 11ish, so we still had a good 20 miles to go, so as soon as I warmed up - this was the ONLY SUNNY SPOT we hit the whole ride, we turned around and headed back.

It got colder, damper, and even rained on me - the worst was as I was trying to get uphill across the narrow bridge andI could no longer see - my glasses had fogged up and it was raining. This was the only panic inducing point on the ride, but I kept breathing and pedaling and visualizing the road being easy and clear and safe.

Fun was finally catching up to @byronium and seeing he had a friend pedaling behind him - this woman in all pink with a Specialized Ruby in white with pink glitter crystals all over it. We tackled that last bit, and I got to the top, a little out of breath, but no panic! not bad.

Resting through a few light changes, we head on down the hill to get to the intersection where we parted ways with @rhiannonstone and @llamaeyes - I knew the hills coming up, but felt pretty strong about making it. The rest of the ride actually went really well - we hit Sawyer Camp Trail, and I tucked in behind B and someone else and we paced at a nice steady speed, I really enjoyed this, we were steady and I felt smooth and at home.

(Except my new Hincapie bib shorts kept moving around. Turns out I got the wrong size. You can't really sell a pair of bike shorts, even if you've only used them once, sadly)

Anyway, l managed not to damage anything with the not quite right fitting shorts. When we got back down the hill and were on the last leg pedaling away - I realized that I ahd energy, and pulled ahead of Byron and upped the pace to closer to 20mph. This felt great. :) But I did get tired, and ralized why people switch doing that. Coming into the end, we almost didnt go over the finish, but made the turn to see llamaeyes, and rhiannonstone cheering us on! That was really nice. :)

PIcnic with mango, proscuitto, crackchips, diet pepsi, stories, running into princeofwands and karenbynight and their family (and their really cute friend, Chris? rowr.) The great part was while I was tired, I wasnt wiped out. And the days after were also ok!!

gayathri: (Default)
Started out with @byronium deciding that we needed to get some distance under out belt, and not just hills, so he found a 47 mile loop that went through Petaluma to Tomales to Marshall and back to Petaluma again. The card said it was 'mostly flat' tho the hills shown seemed to be mostly at the first 20 miles or so.

I didnt recognize the road names, tho I'd just ridden some of them the week before.

We started a little late. 1 pm. but figuring 12 mph avg (my speed on mostly flat rides) we figured 4 hours was plenty of time.

First thing that happens less than 2 miles in was that I got a flat. My first real flat while riding. That was exciting feeling the back end doing things I wasnt expecting. Byronium was ahead already so I stopped, got out my cell, hoped he had taken his, called him, left a message, and then went ahead to take the wheel off. He came back and we quickly replaced the tube, filled up the tire, found a bike shop, bought new tubes and started our ride.

The first 20 miles were hell. I dont know what that writer was thinking when he said mostly flat, but it wasnt. I fell over once trying to get started pedaling up the hill. It didnt hurt but the ground was warm. Then I fell over on the other side trying to pick up the bike. Doh.

Even Byronium was starting to look discouraged. We finally made it to Marshall around 615 pm and the Hog Island Oyster Company was closed and we had no water to fill up. This was sad making. And a little nervewracking.

We rode another few miles into Marshall itself and stopped at Nick's Cove, and filled up with water, and stretched. We were only about half way, but the rest was supposed to be easier... I was sending emails to @llamaeyes to let her know where we were, as the cell / text coverage was spotty at best, and my fone would at least send emails when it could.

Maybe the rest of the way was easier, without the temps dropping and the sun going down behind me. But it was here, there came a space, where it stopped hurting, where my lungs were warm and working pulling air in and out, where I felt my heart beating powerfully and evenly, where my legs were tired but moving smoothly, almost effortlessly, where the bike was shifting just fine, and I was pedaling the big ring, where the miles seemed to fall away, even as the sun kept going down.

The bad news was that it was now 730, and we still had about 12 - 14 miles to go - but @byronium thought the park was closing at 8. I gave him the car keys, kissed him g'bye and watched him pedal away.

I was alone.

Normally, this would set me off into a panic - I was miles from civilization, I was on a bicycle, powered only by my often broken and not-working-to-par body, cell phones didnt work, and I was not nearly as well prepared for being stuck out in the middle of nowhere as I'd like to be (a light, and an emergency blanket at the least to include with all my cliffbars and water)

But it didnt. I was still in that quiet place, and kept moving forward. The getting dark part was a little scarey, but I could see, and the roads were really quiet.

@byronium came back to pick me up just as the sun had finally slipped out of sight, about 2.5 miles away from the finish, and I was never so glad to see his tired sweet face.

Lessons learned / reminded: make sure someone knows where you are. (@llamaeyes knew where we were up until about 8 pm and when we got back into cell range) make sure to carry equipment / clothing appropriate to weather changes. (I didnt have enough if we'd been stuck out overnight NOT back at the car.) and maybe consider mapping the route on software that has grades. Or at least start a HELL of a lot earlier.

I'm really glad we stopped at the bikeshop and got new tubes, etc. You know we'd have gotten another flat in the middle of nowhere otherwise.

I'm proud of my body. I'm happy it worked so well. I felt good the few days after too!

I'm glad that while it was scarey, I never let the fear take over. @byronium is one of the best people to get into crazy jams with, because he does manage to stay pretty calm. I'm grateful for my friends who where there when I emailed / texted (@llamaeyes!) and for those who were worried for us when they found out later we had an adventure but were ok. (That's a little weird to wrap my head around. Why be worried once we're already ok? but anyway...)
gayathri: (Default)
Saturday night was awesome – Byron had thawed out some meatballs, and Clairese cooked the spaghetti and meatballs for us, as well as made an awesome salad. So yum. We ate too much. Big huge monster thanks to Clairese for all her support – feeding us, as well as being super supportive.

Sunday, woke up at 630 am, checked my blood sugar: normal for me, 133
read Clairese’s note on the board wishing us luck, felt the love!

Started drinking cytomax, and had 1/3 cup of slow cooked oatmeal with about a tablespoon of peanut butter and some brown sugar. Just enough to fill me up! Hopefully not enough to slow me down later with the digesting.

Loaded up the bikes and headed to Palo Alto… I started feeling nervous – I’ve been really struggling with panic attacks around riding my bicycle, and after talking with my dr about this, had tried on a few rides before, taking something to reduce the anxiety. Its actually been working really well. I CAN ride my bicycle, I just have occasional overwhelming fears that devolve into utter panic when I don’t need that reaction. Slowly, its abating, but its going to take more bike rides that push those boundaries. (which really, aren’t that bad, considering – 30 miles of rolling hills is doable on my style of bike, and when I’m not freaking out, I can average about 12 – 14 mph, 18 on the flats… )

I’m very grateful that Byron didn’t do the 75K ride and did the 50Km with me instead. It was good to have his support especially in the last few km when my legs started cramping up. I drank tons of electrolytes, but I think I hadn’t eaten enough of my cliff blocks. Still need to get back to the Endo to check those levels to see what’s up with that – sometimes its fine, sometimes, its insane. Today, my legs are still a little swollen from the bad cramping!

Good thing was no panic about riding, getting to a spot to stop, being able to stop, going fast downhill, all of that. I actually went fast enough downhill that I couldn’t pedal in the big rings! that was amazing, actually countersteering around the curves. So happy!

Funny moment getting into Woodside, there was someone BBQ’ing, and normally that would be ok, but my stomach was being very sensitive and I almost threw up from the smell. Another moment was a bicyclist who wasn’t on the ride with us, was parked on the side of the road and did this thing where he blew his nose to clear it just as I was riding past (he did it on the other side away from me, fortunately) but something about the noise also just made me actually retch while riding. I love Victoza, I love how its working for me, but these funny side effects of smells and being occasionally easily nauseated is really funny/sad/annoying, but mostly funny.

(that poor bicyclist, can you imagine if I’d actually barfed right next to him? heh.)

BTW: Blood sugar during the ride was also consistent, within 110-135 on my meter.

It was also great having people being so supportive, yelling ‘go red rider’ or saying it as I passed them, or they passed me. Byron was also awesome in cheering other riders along as well.

The hills weren’t terrible, they were completely doable, and it will be exciting to start pushing myself up steeper hills. There’s a 60 mile ride in the fall that I’ve already signed up for – its really going to be tough, so its time to up that ante in terms of working on hills.

So thank you again, everyone, for texting, tweeting, FB'ing, emailing me supportive messages while I was doing the ride. Thank you everyone for donating, and being super supportive in general. I'm so happy to be doing this for myself, and for continuing to get better at doing riding my bicycle!
gayathri: (Default)
Birthday Week update!

Sunday, June 5, Byron and I held a small silent auction of wine and yarn donated by friends. The turnout was smaller than I'd hoped, but we got a good return on our wines and much of the yarn.

Big thanks to @rhiannonstone, @llamaeyes, @clairesemarie, @danalamb, @ljellis for all coming out, bidding and supporting us. Also, this couldnt have happened if @seccessionsf and @basmatiheather hadnt donated the space (as well as lovely items!)

it went well, and it was a grand way to start out my birthday week. @clairesemarie was nice enough to cook us dinner that night with leftover meats and cheese - fancy grilled cheese and soup! So yum, and its always nice to have someone else cooking. :)

Monday - I gave notice at work! Why yes, I'm leaving Lithium Technologies and going to SAY:Media as a program manager. I'm very excited - I think this is a good move for me, and I'm glad to be getting back to Scrum, rapid deployments, and not to mention, staying in San Francisco - my foray into working across the bridge in Emeryville, as well as customer facing deployments wasnt as much fun for me as I thought it would be, tho I'm rather proud of the work we completed in the past few months.

Wednesday, I took the afternoon off to go down to Palo Alto to try doing the worst part of the actual ride - I was struggling with the fact we didnt get to ride the weekend before, and having actual nightmares about the ride - some things keep coming up from previous falls, hill climbs, feeling like a failure at this bike riding thing, being unable to get past some of the fears to just ride...

It was a really good plan!! We rode up the section of Alpine and Portolo that I was worried about, and I didnt have any trouble at all. Byron followed behind me and yelled tips about shifting and when, which also helped.

I felt so good after this, I spent the next few days stretching and getting psyched to do the 50km with hills and all.

Thursday was my birthday! there was cake! and roses! and we went to a fundraiser at Yoshi's where Byron ended up doubling our entry but we were too late to bid on any of the wine or weekend items they had up for silent auction, but we did get to see English Beat play - I really enjoyed that.

Friday, I worked from home, a little hung over from Thursday - and because I needed to go to the DMV to get my new driver's license, and register my motorcycle. That was 'fun'. Not. But at least with an appointment, its just waiting in a few lines.

I wonder what my new picture will look like with my hair still in messy pigtails.

Then I headed over to SAY:Media for their friday happy hour. My friend Patti introduced me around to everyone, which was great! I'm excited to have the chance to work with these folks, and it was nice to get a leg up on the ones I hadnt met yet.

Home, a little headachey, I was working on some knitting with the Awesome Housemate came home - she ended up cooking me dinner (yay!) and we watched movies all night - including "how to train your dragon", which was full of awesome, and the rest of Zombieland, which I hadnt realized was SO FREAKING FUNNY! (if you like zombies, gore and bad humor, just the thing!)

Saturday was spent running errands - awesome housemate has some plans for the apartment, and we picked up hardware, cloth and other items needed! Byron came over, and we had our pre-ride dinner of spagetti and meatballs and a big salad.

early to bed, early up, its the day of the ride!!!

(more on that later, but it was amazing, and a great way to celebrate my birthday!) Thank you everyone for contributing to the awesomeness.
gayathri: (Default)
A silent auction to help raise funds for the American Diabetes Association's Tour De Cure

Please join Gayathri and Byron
on Sunday, June 5, 2011
from 4pm to 7 pm at

Secession Art and Design
3361 Mission St SF CA 94110
(across from 30th St Safeway

As some of you may know, last year, Byron, Valerie and I all did the ADA’s Tour de Cure in Napa. This year, Val did the Napa ride, and Byron and I are doing the one in Palo Alto the weekend after my birthday.

Come help celebrate by raising money towards our goal for the ride, raising awareness about diabetes, or come by to drink some wine and eat some cheese, peruse the art hanging at Secession, and bid on wine, art and yarn up for auction.

Please also feel free to visit:


Mar. 2nd, 2011 10:28 am
gayathri: (Default)
Tonite  is Shiva's night, an evening commeorating one of the three major gods in the Hindu Pantheon.

A long time ago, the Devas and Asuras decided they needed to get Amrit, the nectar of immortality - and the way they got it was by taking a mountain, placing it in the the back of a giant turtle (an Avatar of Vishnu) in the ocean and using the Vishnu's snake to churn the ocean.

While they are churning, the Universe sends out all sorts of obstacles to scare them off. One was a giant pool of poison that threatened to kill all the Devas and Asuras, as well as destroy the three worlds.

Shiva came out into the water, and drank the poison. His wife, Parvati, held his throat so he wouldn't actually swallow it, turning his throat blue. He is named 'Blue Throat' in Sanskrit as well.

There are other stories of Shiva in his aspect of Nataraja (lit. "Lord of dance") doing the famous Tandava, describing the stages of the Universe - creation, preservation, destruction. I found a bunch of cool stories here:

Unlike a lot of other holidays, this one doesnt have a lot of food and celebration. Most devotees fast (I wont be. blergh!) and pray all day/ night, washing their statues of Shiva with milk, honey, water, offering flowers, fruit. I'll be going to Yoga, which seems to be exactly the right thing to do. 

Its on the night of the new moon, which can symbolize a time for "evil forces" – desire, greed, illusion, arrogance, jealousy, and anger to take control. My intention tonite is to  ask for strength to see through the 'evil' and find the truth. I dont believe in 'dispelling' emotions, or that they are in themselves 'evil' - how we act on them can be seen as good or evil, but the feelings themselves are all good, all from our purest self - they are signals to us to search for the truth. 

Shiva means your very self, the purest Self, your innermost core. Shiva means good or benevolent. The word ratri in Sanskrit means that which relieves you from three types of agony – ethereal, mental and material. At night everything becomes quiet and peaceful. The body gets tired and goes to sleep. ‘Shivaratri’ literally means that night which infuses the Shiva tatva or the transcendental principle to the three instruments: the body, mind and speech. – Sri Sri Ravishankar

gayathri: (Default)
tho no bicycling! It was too cold, and I'm really having trouble dealing with the temperature.

saturday, byronium and I met up around noon, mostly after the new housemate had moved in. I'm looking forward to her putting her stamp on the place!

We headed out to not go mtn biking, and instead ran some errands. instead of cooking the fancy dinner we'd planned, we just got some crab and bread and had crab, garlic bread and some white wine. Turns out this was good for me. :)

I finished two knitting projects (almost) - just have to sew the sweater together!

Slept well and beautifully, even after watching a Few Good Men and My Neighbor Totoro. Woke up to it still being freezing cold and a really funny conversation with my mom about weddings. I dont know a thing about them either so we're enjoying watching my brother's unfold.

Headed down to RWC to have brunch with the llama - she's struggling with her medical woes, so it was nice to hang out and visit.

Finally, the weekend ends with Rhiannonstone's Birthday Crabfest! crabs! lots of 'em. Yum. :)
gayathri: (Default)
I'm overworked, learning the ropes, and loving it. (this is regarding work)

I also have a housemate moving in! she's a friend of chuck and erica's, and we're going to test it out and see how it goes. I'm rearranging furniture and moving things around. I'm also tossing / donating a bunch of stuff so I feel really good about that too.

I was going to go to yoga tonite, but it turns out the teacher I wanted to see isnt teaching at YKSF anymore, and I didnt feel up to meeting a new teacher. So I'm signed up for Monday and Wednesday next week. Wednesday is Shivratri - Shiva's Night - and according to Hindu astrologers, the planets align in a way to encourage an upsurge of energy. Its a good evening to be awake and aware. So, I'm going to yoga. Skeeter's doing a special prayer for Shivratri, and I'm open to seeing how that feels.

My friend pug called me this week - it was good to hear from her and reconnect, I hope my babbling wasnt too overly TMI, and I'm glad I heard how things had gone with her when her mother passed. I pray still that she went quietly and not in fear.

Monday, I had off, and spent it cleaning up my apartment. That felt really good, my asthma and sinus' seem to be under control and I can actually clean. I think tho, going forward, I may have someone come in twice a month again for the kitchen and bathroom. I can mostly take care of the rest on my own. Monday night, went down to Palo Alto and boughtmyself a 40inch sony tv. ;) Next week, picking up the XboX Kinect next week. Looking forward to playing with the Kinect for sure.

Wednesday, had dinner with Byron and C (new housemate) at Velvet Cantina - the Sam Worthington look alike bartender was there. ZOMG, he's so damn cute. And sweet. I need to go back a little more often. ;) I only had two margaritas! ;)

the kittens are awesome! I adore them so much - you can see pictures here

I worked from home yesterday, and the weather was _awful_ - poor B had to work late, so we missed going to the Alliance Franciase to see the photographer that looked interesting. Sad my Hot Date Night got spoiled, but understand that work happens! We went instead to Ichi and had good sushi, and a lovely time, came back, and watched Crazy Heart by the fire... ok, so maybe my HDN was still pretty good!

I thought I might be getting an ear / sinus infection, so stayed home today to make sure I could netipot, drink lots of liquids and basically work straight from 8 am to 630 pm (whoops)

Looking forward to moving in the housemate, maybe mtn biking tomorrow, cooking with B, biking with B and llamaeyes, and rhiannonstone's birthday dinner. (busy enough!)

I've got a couple on the camera I need to get off soon.
gayathri: (Default)
Thursday night, ended up meeting up at the Rickshaw Stop with a bunch of friends to see Mother Mother play a set. They were really awesome live. unfortunately, the Rickshaw Stop and I have a bad history, and it continued with me drinking too much. (My own fault. but it was dumb)

I had otherwise tho, the best time, dancing. I havent felt that free and happy on the dance floor in years. I missed Libitinae a lot - she was the person I liked to dance with back in the bad ol' days.

Friday was another busy day at work, but I felt like I was back on top of things.

Left work at 5 pm 'cause I was supposed to meet friends at Luna Park for dinner. The problem happened on the Bart train in front of me. It was smoking. (Caught on fire?)

they turned my bart back. I messaged rhiannonstone to warn her (I knew she was coming in the same direction) and let byronium know as well.

I was stuck in Oakland. at the 12th street station, and it was COLD, DARK, and rainy. (and the station was sooo soo crowded, it made me claustrophobic.)

Ended up at a bar, connected with rhiannonstone and waited for byronium to come rescue us. But it was still too cold. I was starting to really really feel like I was going to lose it if I didnt get warm. And I was completely left cold by the menu at the place we were at (The Washington hotel's restaurant) Fortunately, Rhiannonstone is a good companion in a situation like this, and we figured out a plan of attack.

We called whipartist and she got us and took us to ChopBar. By the time we got seated, byronium also had arrived as did yummy mixed drinks. We tried some Primitivo on tap - first time I'd tried wine that wasnt bottled. It was really quite good, very drinkable.

After dinner, byronium drove me home, and I took a super long hot shower, put on a layer of winter fleece and went to bed with the heating pad on. This made sure all the kittens were also in bed with me. I was ok with that. I couldnt sleep, so watched John Woo's Red Cliffs. REALLY enjoyable film - good story, great characters, awesome insane fight scenes. :) I want to see it on a bigger screen.

Saturday morning was half chasing the kittens out of the room, and half laying in bed knitting and looking out the window. My friend R came up from RWC, and we went to brunch and planned out some motorcycle trips / rides / racetrack days. I'm a happy motogirl!

Saturday afternoon, byronium took me to a watch store. This is usually a painful, passionately annoying for me. I have some requirements and desires for a women's watch. And no one seems to want to make one that's appropriate.

The first: No Diamonds. I just dont want the blingy. diamonds do not make it more 'feminine'.
The second: fits my wrist. I have tiny wrists. And need a watch that's about 26-33mm, otherwise it just looks huge and heavy and ridiculous.
The Third: is not quartz. I want a mechanical watch. I want a sweep hand that floats, not ticks.
The Fourth: is like a men's aviator style.
The fifth: Sapphire crystal on the face, steel case.

the want/desire: like the Oris B3, have a clear back so I can see what the watch does... Could be clear on the front, or even switch over like flippy Jaeger.

I've been looking for this watch now for 4 years (longer, really, but in some earnest for that past few years of being with a horophile who buys watch porn... I look through the magazines and would get all indignant that they just didnt make women's watches nearly as cool and functional as men's watches.

I even wrote Oris that they didnt have a women's watch that was as nice as their large line of men's watches. But they never answered me.

actually they did. At the store, there was a women's Oris watch that fit all my requirements. And many of my wants/ desires.

I had to laugh, because I was slightly disappointed in not being able to get all venty. ;)
gayathri: (growl)
where other than my jeans, everything I am wearing is either from SmartWool (underwear, socks, hat) or Columbia - long sleeved fuzzy, jacket and shoes.

I'm also super cranky. I'm not sure why. Tho from HALT, I'm am Hungry, feeling Lonely, and Tired. The weather chills me, and tires me out.

But, this too shall pass. :)


gayathri: (Default)

May 2012

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