The big scary antibiotics did their work. I laid off the exercise while I was on them because any risk of aortic aneurism that I can avoid is too much. I got my new Covid Vaccine and the Flu shot 24 hours after the last dose of meds. There was no recommendation to wait till I was done with the meds, but I figured there’s a strong likelihood that the vaxes would side effects. I’ve had them with the other shots. If I feel rotten, it will make it easier to stay off the bike for another day or two and give the meds plenty of time to be definitely out of my system.
Ramping it Up
It’s time to get serious about ramping up readiness for the submission and campaign and project. That usually hits my brain right about the time my head hits the pillow. Insomnia isn’t new to me, so I have a few coping strategies that sometimes work, sometimes don’t. I’m getting back to normal voice and will be working on the audio.
The Weight Loss
I’ve been off schedule, diet and exercise wise for a whole month now. I noticed in my FB memories there was a year when I complained about nasty sinus problems at the same time I was sick this year. I wondered how many times it had happened around now, but didn’t post.
The need for stronger antibiotics makes be wonder if this could really be simple allergies that got exposed to something. Ragweed is the big allergen that coincides with when we got sick. I have my calendar marked to pay attention next year to ragweed counts and see if there appears to be a correlation. I can’t afford to give this much time to sickness again whether the project makes or not.
I was lax on the weight loss while sick, but I haven’t gained weight. Sunday was my last splurge. We went to Fellini’s for pizza by the slice, and at the table I said out loud that I couldn’t have another splurge for 2 weeks. I’m officially back on track, eating plan wise and rides as well.
That’s it for this week. Se you on the trail, and have a glorious fall day!
When I wrote the draft for this post, I started it talking about how It feels really good to be back riding on a regular schedule and I’m really grateful for the time I’ve been able to spend on the trail. Well, it turned out to be a resistant strain and now I have the big deal antibiotics that come with warning about increased risks of things like an aortic aneurism. I might not survive that if happened while riding miles away from my car, and can’t afford to have treated with my lack of health care coverage if I did.
That risk is increased with exercise. That big long multipart warning sheet didn’t say how much exercise increased the risk or by how much. Regardless, I plan to reduce the risk as much as I can by as much as I can in those things I have a choice about. My exercise until the drugs are out of my system will consist of walking to the bus stop to collect a grandchild.
Having significant illness, enough to disrupt my training schedule for some time, is a little unnerving right now, but the break is needed. i’ve been sleeping 9+ hours lately, very unusual for me.
The Video Remake
We need to rerecord the audio for the intro vide. Not everything in the old one is up to date. I’ve written and rewritten what I have to say. I’ve spent hours reading and re-reading, looking for rephrasing that cuts out words, but still communicates. Then doing it again and asking myself if it will hold attention as long as it should. Letting time pass and taking a fresh look at things again. I think it’s ready now, but I’m waiting on my voice to return to normal. The audio needs to be the base, and the pictures and video all needs to come in at the right time in the audio. I hope by the end of this week I’ll be hiding in my closet for the sound absorption and talking into the mic.
The cold moved in to Dr visit territory for both of us. The riding has been light, but not non-existent. The antibiotics are doing their work. I can’t tell that the steroids are, but there was that time in my childhood when I told my mother that the medicine she gave me wasn’t helping. She told me that I didn’t know how I’d feel without it. It was one of those formative comments and I think a little harder when I’m feeling like anything, medication, effort or even my own existence didn’t matter. I suspect I’d have been down for the count without the meds.
It was a good week to film some video. With our gimbal mounted set up for the intro video we never ride at full speed while filming, so light rides fit our health status as well as the desire to get more video. The new video will be built on a new audio, and I need my voice back to do that.
I am seriously frustrated with how long it is taking for me to get back to 100%. I’ve ridden for the last 3 days, but not full rides. Today after my ride, I still had plenty of energy, so I should be able to push harder tomorrow. I’ve been chiding myself for not moving into the guest room when Russ started with the constant Kleenex and the heavy coughing. We have one again now. I should remember that and use it if necessary, but as I rode by the construction signs noting sewer work this week I thought about how often the area floods and questioned the intelligence of riding in as much drenching rain as I did just days before Russ, then I got sick. It occurred to me that maybe not all of the water dripping from my nose while I was breathing deep was rainwater. I might have been spraying myself with something growing in dirt that never dried out since the last flood and it just took a little longer to explode in my sinuses. I’ll probably avoid riding in that much rain in that location in the future. I mean, pets and wild animals poop on all trails, but sewer lines that occasionally overflow and cause health warnings in an area that stays damp through most normal seasons is an added risk, no matter how much I feel like riding right through it.
The new GoPros are out, so I’ll be digesting what that will means to the project. Initially it looks like pretty good news, but I haven’t read in depth technical info yet. I’ve been reviewing all of my equipment choices. I have been pretty sure about which recumbents are the best for the project, but haven’t been completely decided about anything except using GoPros, and even that could change if it turned out that there was a better choice (which I don’t expect).
Things are looking up, and next week we should be more likely to see you on the trail than we were last week! Have a glorious day!
The first week I had a ride so wet it degreased my bike chain. That was Friday at Big Creek Greenway. I thought the weather was going to clear shortly after we started, but about 3 quarters of the ride, including the entire return, was in pouring rain. Russ wasn’t feeling it and turned back way early. He didn’t know he was sick, but was testing for Covid two days later, so it was a good decision.
I felt like going ahead. When the weather is going to be bad for a few days, missing rides adds up. The stream and sewers were not flooded, so the water spray from my wheels was relatively clean. I rode a little slow. Falls = bad, and I take longer to recoup from them than I do from a few days of rain.
I got a little chilly at the start, then warmed up, and was coldish again by the end. It really wasn’t a bad experience at all, but Labor Day Weekend got rainier as it went on, and I didn’t choose to repeat the experience again right away. There were enough clear times and the clouds were really pretty. I never had a ride gap of more than a day for the week. This week I’m the one taking the Covid test though, neither of us tested positive, but I think that last pound I lost was fueling the fever.
I’ve been relying on the Protein One bar heavily lately, sometimes having two in a day. The label wasn’t as scary to me as some, and where else can you get 10 grams of protein for 90 calories? I prefer whole foods, but when you want big increases in protein while also making big decreases in calories, protein bars and shakes are the easy way to get there.
Sitting on the picnic table eating the bar last week, I was re-reading the label and decided to look up chicory root extract. So, chicory root is 68% inulin by dry weight. I’m guessing “extract” is around 100%. Inulin has all kinds of benefits and some side effects. I laughed when I read the appetite suppressant part. Side effects were things like gas. I’ve had some really noisy gas, which is tolerable if you’re not around people, but I am, pretty constantly. And, it’s been out there in the range of drawing comments, funny expressions and jokes.
So I decided to stop eating the bars to test and the gas went away quickly, almost as quickly as my appetite spiked. That happens to me in the fall, right about the time evolution is telling my body to pack it on for the winter and the candy corn hits the grocery shelves. But, this was correlated perfectly with discontinuing the bar that is supposed to reduce appetite.
I waited a few days, had another and repeated. Yep, it’s the bars, for a few symptoms. Finding a substitute will be a little easier since I’m no longer trying to keep the carbs down as low as Keto lovers like to, but I bought so many of those bars when they were BOGO and I’m still struggling with the goal to increase protein and limit calories. I’ll probably have 1 or 2 per week rather than 1 or 2 per daily ride until I decide they’re too old, unless Russ snaps them up.
I’ve been trying to get well without the antibiotics since last Thursday when I felt the current illness coming on during my ride. There are times when I’m afraid a sinus infection is coming on when I’d ride hard and hot to try to get my body temp up and maybe head things off at the pass, but the weather on Thursday wasn’t really that warm and and it didn’t feel like the right choice to make. As soon as I realized that what I needed to do was to cut the ride short, I did. I’ll be going to the Dr tomorrow. This wasn’t the sickness to tough it out on.
Until next time, have a glorious day, and we’ll see you on the trail.
I was riding just after sunrise and expected I might get some good fresh material for the remake of our campaign video. I made an attempt at mounting the gimbal for an old cell phone. My phone is too wide to fit in the holder with its case and I just can’t risk a newish glass sided phone on a bike ride without a case. If I did, that would for sure be the day I crash. I’m that economics based late adopter who hangs on to tech as long as it still works.
I had some technical difficulties and just rode. I would have worried more with getting proficient for when Russ isn’t with me if this were the project equipment, but it’s just the equipment we were willing to buy to make a campaign video. It’s not practical to do the project with a gimbal that can’t be dropped or get wet.
I was right about the opportunity though. I scared an barred owl off its perch on a bridge and saw a dozen other things that would have been useful clips for one thing or another. A stag ran beside me for a moment. I heard his hooves pound first, then saw the tan color and thought of a cougar or dog that might be about to intercept me. I saw the antlers just he turned abruptly to make sure he didn’t. If it had actually been a predator, I’d have never heard him coming.
I stopped and caught about half of the deer crossing the path in one spot with a still in the photo below.
There was a yellow dot in my notifications. It had been so long since I had seen it that it took me a minute to realize it was the sunshine symbol from my weather app. And, it was fleeting, half a day was all it lasted. I keep planning to wash my bike, and then riding on wet trails again. Still, the weather is warm enough that wet is fine.
School is back in session and the seasonal change is very apparent. In truth, the length of day never changes by more than 2 or 3 minutes per day here, but those minutes are a bigger piece of the time before and after work or school when people feel them add up the most, and we’re in that sweet spot where the temperatures are inviting, but the days are shorter and there is less time to enjoy the weather. It’s so easy to lament the end of summer.
It’s been a roller coaster lately. Last week I was car dancing. It was the first time I remember catching myself doing that since those trips out to open trails early in the pandemic. Those drives were long, but very comfortable. The rural setting was like my childhood in South Alabama (except that the area where I grew up was much poorer). When I made those trips alone on pandemic empty country roads I’d blast my tunes, that made it feel somewhat like my teen aged years in the backwoods.
The road we took out there is being widened and I can feel all the land use converting from cattle and corn to Mc Mansions, so it was always a bittersweet drive. I remember writing about breaking out in tears over hearing “Big Old Jet Air Liner” one one of those solo drives.
I broke out in tears at the trail solo today. It’s been a long time coming and I wasn’t even sure that I could cry. Having a flat was the 5th trigger but not the cause. Once the faucets turned on I had a jumble of emotions all at once. I was embarrassed to think someone might see me crying in public, it good to realize my dry eye was under control enough to actually produce the tears, and then there was the act of crying itself, needing the release of emotion. Oh, and I had to get off the phone to do my blubbering in the first place.
Give me another couple of years and I’ll probably fit an ugly cry in somewhere. It may not take that long if I’m in a private place and I can cry in empathy rather than for anything that’s going on in my own life. I did that with The Color Purple in the late 80s. I hadn’t cried in several years when I rented the tape, and I think I literally did go through an entire box of tissues before it was over. That’s when I realized how much I needed the release and stopped trying not to cry if I needed to.
My blood pressure and heart rate have dropped down to where they were 15 and 40 years ago. Those markers recently started to creep up into areas where a doctor wants to do something about them, and now they are down near the opposite limit where medical articles say “We don’t usually worry about low blood pressure unless in goes much below…”
I had hibiscus tea in my collection, and knowing that it can make blood pressure drop, I gave it away. I don’t actually want a drop in blood pressure right now. In fact, I reviewed all my herbal teas and supplements. News reports of a death that may or may not have been due to use of white mulberry probably helped motivate me to make sure I’m not unintentionally self medicating badly.
I also wondered if I was having those hot flashes that I never got back when everyone else did. Turns out the air conditioner was broken instead. I don’t know how long it would have taken me to look at the thermostat if someone else hadn’t.
I’ve broken through the half way to goal point, barely. The weight loss is still slowed a bit, but that’s because I haven’t recorded anything to keep up with it since my MacBookPro died. I could get things into a spreadsheet on the loaner, but there’s a lot going on and I’ve been satisfied with the slow around my halfway point for a bit.
It’s time to change that though. I want to be at my target weight and consolidating my miles to fewer days and longer rides before we submit the campaign video in November. The daily exercise has been good in a lot of ways, but time traveling to a trail has been tedious and expensive and the extra time plus being tired has kept me from getting other things done. I’m still leaving the door open to loose a bit more weight than the original target, but in November I want endurance rather than weight loss to be the priority and refocusing on the weight loss now will make me healthier and better suited to make that push.
That’s it for this week. See you on the trails and have a glorious day!
Russ likes the new vintage bike and has ordered parts and tools to repair the old one. The rain has been constant. The other night thunder roared so loud it sounded like it was inside the house. We woke up and started talking about whether or not we should move out of the bedroom by the tall trees and into the guest room, but never did. We’ve found gaps in the weather for rides. It’s always nicer to be surprised by gettin to ride than getting surprised by not getting to.
We’ve decided to make some changes. We’ve had a lot to deal with and the tax impact for the project makes it important for most of the expenses to happen in the same calendar year as the funding. With some projects that’s fairly easy late in the year, but for this project, travel expenses will be significant and those will last as long as the project.
Because we expect to be making video for more than a year with the fill ins for any unridable weeks as well as the unexpected, there will be travel expenses that we will have to pay income tax on anyway. We want those to be as few as possible. I know some people would say “Just put it in the budget”. Well, we do have an allowance for tax burden in the budget, but we’d like for it to be sufficient rather than having to increase it. Taxes are a fact of life as much as any other expense, but this is the biggest expense we can control, and timing the project to coincide with a calendar year is the way to do it.
So, now we’re looking to go live with the project in the official fundraising sense around the middle of November. In some ways that’s pretty disappointing. I need to do this (that would be awesome) or move on something else (that could be awesome too, but I’d rather move on to something else awesome after this). In other ways it’s a relief. Given our latest technical, equipment and family set backs, it’s the right decision.
From now until November, we will keep training, planning, reworking the video and posting updates. I may pull back to every other week on the Tuesday Updates. We’ll see. It will likely depend on whether or not I have something to say and whether or not it fits in that space.
Until next time, Have a glorious day, and we’ll see you on the trail.
The heat has calmed down enough to comfortably ride a little later and I can time most of my rides so that my turning point rest and snack is at or after when I should break my fast. I like that. Resting and eating the mid ride protein may or may not be needed at this level, but having it before it’s time is definitely breaking the fast early. These last couple of days I didn’t guzzle all of my water fast either, in fact there was a little left after the ride.
I’m still growing the post hair donation cut out. It wasn’t such a bad cut considering what I had left to work with, but the barber kind of scared me when I heard and felt the electric clippers hit the back of my neck. I hadn’t intended to get the “Karen” bob either, but Russ likes it so, there’s that. The hair has been doing a Midge flip when I get drenched in sweat, and it doesn’t even matter whether you’re talking about Mrs. Maisel or Barbie’s best friend, except that it looked utterly ridiculous on me. That’s calming down in the cooler temps too.
Over the last couple of weeks, I maintained the fast pretty well, but wasn’t really counting anything. My spread sheet is in the computer that died and things have been fast paced and stressful, so I was just trying to get enough protein. My current thought on protein is that I’m not trying to build muscle to match my current weight. I’m trying to reduce my current weight. So, while I wasn’t getting enough protein by most standards before, I’m still not trying to get as much as some sources recommend. It was such a challenge to get the higher amount without eating mostly meat and processed proteins. That’s not balanced or whole food and this is a long term diet for significant weight loss.
I’m a pound above the half way point on the way to goal. I was quoting tenths of pounds earlier because that’s what the display shows, but I’m dropping that. The margin of error for the scale is in pounds. To report a number with finer resolution than the margin of error gives a false sense of the level of accuracy. That’s not opinion. It’s training.
That’s all for this Tuesday’s update. I have a couple of other things I’ll post soon, and I’m going to start posting some things on thrifting and textiles. That won’t be for everyone, but nothing is.
Last time I wrote, I said the week had been tough. I posted it early and said there was more to come about Saturday. Saturday I thought the project was over and I thought that was the message I had to post next. It’s been a rough two weeks, and this post is late because it was hard to write.
In the back of my head, there’s a part of me that still thinks, maybe the project should be cancelled and I just refuse to see it. The odds of making our financial goals are long because we don’t have a following. That makes our slim advertising budget a more decisive part of the picture, and from what I’ve experienced, most advertising is directed at getting clicks that produce advertising revenue rather that the clicks that potentially lead to sales.
What do I mean by that? I follow the National Park Service. The other day I logged on to FB and there were over 20 different ads for the same NPS event lined up consecutively in my feed. I went away and came back three times before that stopped happening. Maybe it was a glitch, but I’m sure every one of those ads counted as a view or impression, and while I am an interested potential customer, showing me the event 60 times is not going to make me able to cross 4 states to be there. I’m more than a little worried that I could blow through what is a lot of money to me and have my advertisements dispersed just as uselessly. Our budget doesn’t have that space in it. Or worse, they could focus on sending ads to my friends on FB. My FB friends are friends, they aren’t a following, and while I will post about the project and appreciate any support they give, how would they feel about me if running FB ads puts me in front of them the way they put the Park Service in front of me?
On top of that, the job market is still hiring big time and I’ve been out of work on family leave far too long. Unless we more than beat the odds and are hugely overfunded, this project isn’t going to be a paying gig for me. When I first planned it and started writing here, I expected to be done before now, and before I felt the level of pressure to earn income that I now have. But that isn’t what my body and life were up to. It took longer for me to be ready to make it a success.
The computer breaking was a last straw. I’m not sure I even mentioned that the crank on Russ’s bike finally gave it up. We bought a refurbed vintage Schwinn last night for Russ to ride while he teaches himself to rebuild his Giant (incidentally we learned last night that Giant built the Schwinn too, just before going out on their own to become the worlds largest maker of bicycles). We were inching toward needing to update/re-script the video before all of this happened, these things happening all together got us there.
I got a bit of a reset when I went in to have the computer looked at. The date of a warranty repair made me realize I hadn’t been working this as long as it felt. I’ve worked at this harder than was practical to the rest of my life for almost two years now, but the Blitzkrieg of personal, national and world level events really stretched the sense of time and it felt like so much longer. Instead of the old normal “OMG I can’t believe that was ten years ago, it feels like yesterday!” the new norm is “That was last year? It feels like a lifetime ago.”
So, because we’ve worked long and hard, but have not yet put this out in front of people to promote it in any way other than just writing the blog we decided not to just end the project before it got it’s chance. We’re going to rework the video as soon as one of us has a computer that will do the job and actually see if we can make this happen. Reworking the video will go faster on this side of the learning curve with more of the images sorted out and the end result will be better. I feel a lot of pressure to get this out there and move forward, but many of the delays have improved our ability to run the project well and produce a better result.
It was a terrible training week. There were weather and other problems. That “other” category is taking time off the back end of our lives. It’s been pilling up higher and deeper for some time. Occasionally, I allude to a problem that I don’t explain. I never know how to handle that here. This is where I talk about project progress and challenges. There is a big problem presenting challenges that impact every week, and I say little or nothing about it. I don’t want to miss a target without saying why. I don’t want to be mysterious or vague book it and I don’t want to go too far down the “TMI” road either. So, I wrote a bit about how that problem effected us this week with the intent of making it a one time event. It took 13 paragraphs without mentioning any feelings.
And then I deleted it.
A neighbor I had in my 20s went to marriage counseling and said that they told her that the grass always does look greener… but, if all the problems that existed were clipped to a rope like laundry and people could choose which problems would be their own, everyone would run for the problems they already had because those were the ones they had learned to deal with. That’s really been helpful for me to think about through the years. I’m not so sure it’s true about the current problem though. I don’t know that we’ve learned to deal with this or that there is any good solution. I’ve always found it easier, emotionally, to deal with acts of chance than with some acts of human nature. I think what I can say is this. Single working Moms need help when they find themselves on the other end of an acrimonious litigious custody arrangement with someone who relentlessly stretches personal and parental rights so far that they harm the child and her family.
So, we’re just going to keep trying to learn to deal with this and rise above as best we can.
Until next time, we’ll see you on the trail, and have a glorious day!
It’s been a tough week, triple tough, training, technology and personal problems were the trifecta.
I’ve been dragging this week. Don’t know if it’s the heat, the diet, the combo, or everything all together.
Thursday was the “I showed up, what more do you want?” ride. I took it easy and it was a little short. After some time, I felt like I had more in me, but my knee has been bothering me lately, in that way that gets better quick if you use the extension strength training machine.
That my knee might benefit from some weight training dawned on me just after I cancelled my membership to the Y. I’ve been a member at the Y under one name or another for over 30 years. I always felt good about my membership with a gym that subsidizes memberships for people who wouldn’t have one without the support. Canceling felt a little like a break up, but the people most comfortable with a lot of exertion and heavy breathing in a closed building are largely the same people comfortable remaining unvaccinated and going without masks. I’ve scarcely been since the pandemic. I’ve been doing pretty well with simple equipment at home. Don’t get me wrong. If I’d won that billion dollar prize, I’d have a fully equipped home gym in my off-grid dream farm.
The Friday ride was ok, but I cleared the path of large limbs and saw some riders take a curve fast and wide causing a woman to fall. It was, in part, because the walker was taking up too much space with dogs on retractable leashes. But, that happens on this trail, and it’s better to stop when that happens than to run someone off the trail and onto the ground.
Saturday, well I’m going to post this early and move on to a second post all its own about Saturday.
My laptop fizzled. I don’t know if it’s a screen problem or a dead computer problem. I have my tech guy working on it. I don’t have a budget for a replacement. The plan was for it to last another year and get a year end clearance in the second year of a new model, best laid plans.
I don’t change computer habits quickly. There are less expensive options, both in brand and features than what I’m using, but ever since the work in GIS, I’ve had powerful machines and we need power for video and photo work for the project. Switching OS would make me need to do some relearning at a time when I’m ultra busy and learning new software too.
The big owie is that we were in the push to get this **** project out the door and in front of people. Not getting it out this weekend pushes it until later in August and I wanted to be actively organizing our first weeks before September. That really hurts.
The Personal Stuff
I had unpleasant interactions with three different people who are pretty important to me and they left me feeling not at all important to them. It happens, but three time inside a week was defeating. Yesterday I thought about binge eating, but it was just a thought. I didn’t actually have the impulse. Realizing that I didn’t even want to binge may have been the single bright point in the week.
I thought about going to the mountains alone and hiking as many miles as I could, but it is so very hot and buggy. I wouldn’t have lasted through the catharsis that I needed. I thought about trying to find a get away where I could hide from everyone and work on that novel I’ve been editing in my head for almost my whole life, but there’s no budget for that either.
And, while I really wanted to be alone to lick my wounds, at the same time, there’s never really a time that I want to be without Russ for any length of time. So, I guess the option I’m left with is to suck it up and carry on. It would be nice to feel better while I’m doing it though.
A Google notification told me I rode 200 miles at 10 miles an hour last month. I was shocked. I remembered leaving my phone at least once, and that was the month I started my diet. I did cut back a lot, but had a hard time believing it was that much. The phone/Google has told me I was in places hundreds or thousands of miles from anywhere I had actually been, but that was years ago.
I couldn’t remember it being grossly wrong recently, but I haven’t logged those ride stats, so I had nothing to check it against. People with road racer bodies and a few other people pass me, but most of those people are exceeding the 15 MPH Greenway speed limit when they do. I wondered if the 10 MPH figure counted the break that I now take to eat a protein bar before turning around. I’m doing 147 miles a week this month, and it wasn’t such a jump. I’m pushing hard, but most of that is due to the calorie deficit.
This was in the back of my mind when we rode together Saturday morning. It was the first time I had been able to ride early while it was cool in several days and I was just relaxing an enjoying the ride. We stopped for a bathroom break and I asked Russ what our speed was. He said “7 MPH” I thought he was joking, but with my Google shock on the brain, I had to confirm. He said “probably” then he actually checked. We were going 14.7 MPH and now Russ was shocked. He had been beating himself up about not getting out with me as much as he wanted and had no idea he was doing that well.
We will plan things differently on the project rides, but when we are on trails or sections that I would ride alone, Russ has blanket approval to take off and leave me. He’s stronger. He needs a good work out too. He usually asks before he does. Russ was so excited to see that he was riding a respectable speed that I actually had to work to keep up with him when he got back on the bike. The next day he was still pumped and riding well too. There’s no telling what he could accomplish with a sports psychologist, me too for that matter. And a life coach, we’d do even more. But, for now, on our own, it’s time to think about going back out to the Silver Comet and ride sections without a speed limit.
Until next week, have a glorious day and we’ll see you on the trail.