Thursday, January 9, 2020

Constant state of overwhelmed

Ok, so I know it my appear that everything is rosey and perfect and bikes and babie and bliss over in our corner of Silverado, but in an effort to keep it real I have to admit I am operating in a constant state of 'overwhelmed' right now. I know this is completely my fault, because I've committed myself to too many things, but no matter how many years go by with me acknowledging that I have a tendency to overdo, somehow I keep overdoing.

Some things that are making me anxious/feeling overwhelmed: 

Coaching unified track again this year - I don't know how to say no, and although I LOVE the kids and the team and the whole concept of unified sports I have to admit I still feel under qualified. And mostly I don't feel like I have the energy for all the work I should do in order to do a GOOD job at it. And mostly it's just a huge time commitment. When track starts I have to stay at school until 3pm, and then hustle home because Brendan needs to get to work and I need to watch a baby. It means I will need to pump more at work and I probably can't bike commute as often. It means all my workouts will end up happening after dark on a trainer. And all this isn't the worst thing ever, it's just hard and new and yeah, overwhelming. 
Training to be a bike racer again - Yeah, I know this is completely on me and at any moment I can pull the plug and just NOT do it, but it's like this is part of me that I can't give up just yet. I don't know if it makes sense that I don't feel complete without training and racing, like it's a critical part of who I am, of what makes my soul happy. But at the same time it stresses me out to no end. It means I need to sleep more, be more diligent about having a 'clean' diet, to be super on top of hydration and rest so I can execute the work coach gives me. I love it, but I'm constantly questioning if it's the right thing to be doing right now, if it's selfish or ok. And the biggest stressor is that I'm worried Brendan is secretly frusty with me for being gone each time I ride (which is RIDICULOUS because he legit told me over Christmas that my dream is his dream and he wants me to train) and even if it's not true I can't turn that voice off in my mind that says 'he's really pissed at you for being gone'. 

Breastfeeding - I LOVE that I am able to breastfeed the nugget, but working and training makes me stressed that any day my boobs might dry up and stop producing (which takes us back to 'should I be training in the first place?'). I hope it doesn't sound like complaining because I know I'm super lucky to be breastfeeding at all, but just for the sake on honesty it's stressing me out. 
Kitchen is 95% done!

Flipping and selling the house - This one is improving, but there is an overwhelming amount of work to be done on the yard which is just plain... overwhelming. At this point there is no looking back and we will list the house done or not in February, but I just want to see what the house could be if all the projects I want to do get completed, and letting go of that is hard. 






So yeah, feeling the feels right now. At the end of the day though I do think that doing hard things is worth it, and I want our daughter to grow up knowing that it's valuable to do hard things, to work hard, to not back down from challenges. But at the same time I don't want to model the idea that you have to be over the top busy to have value in this world. Balance, I'm still seeking it. And honesty/vulnerability, it's better that running around pretending that I am the master of all the things when really I'm just kinda a mess haha. 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

2020 Baby!

Guys! I can't freaking believe that we are 5 days into the new year, that I am back to riding bikes and this weather... it's CRAZY nice! (sorry everyone not in SoCal!)

This week has been awesome because even when little A is fussy from getting her second round of vaccinations every second with her is rad, but also because I FINALLY FEEL GOOD ON MY BIKE AGAIN! I mean riding felt ok for the last month, but in the last three days I've turned a corner and started to feel really really good. We still aren't talking fast, but my legs and lungs respond in a way I expect when I ask them to go hard. I'm still taking everything day by day, but I can't help getting excited for 2020 and the select races I've committed to so far.


AND that leads me to.... my 2020 race ambitions! For now I'm registered for BWR and Leadboat!!! That's it, two crazy ridic hard races haha.

Back in the fall before I was even riding again, think stitches in my nether regions, I promised myself that IF I did race, it would be more focused and selective this year than in the past. I want to thin out the goals and simplify the season to reduce the potential for burn out, mental fatigue and driving my main babysitter, Brendan, insane. And even now I'm not 100% sure what will ultimately happen because family comes first, and I'm still pretty anxious about the physical demand of training, working and breastfeeding, along with taking care of all the other needs of a tiny human. So that's it for now. As spring approaches I may throw in some fun local stuff like Strata Rosa (where Brendan will have to be on course for the midway feeding haha), Hardman, etc. I am 100% open to suggestions of races/rides that are within 3 hours of Orange County!
Wheelie Excited for 2020

That being said I admit that it will be a little hard, once again, to sit out on my favorite events, so here is a list of the races I think ya'll should do, you know, so I can live vicariously through you :)
The perfect season, if I was to create a race plan for a pro trying to win big or an amateur trying to have fun and see new places would be:

Rock Cobbler Gravel Grinder in Bakersfield, CA - just a super fun, goofy, silly ride with a fun little route and all the coolest socal people. It's 100% pure fun and games on bikes, and I love it.

True Grit 100k in St George Utah - Super fun course, beautiful, fun techy desert riding in early spring. The 100 mile is great, but its two laps of the same course, and it's pretty physically demanding techy riding so 1 lap is prob more enjoyable.

ALL the Epic rides mountain bike races - I love each and every course they put together. These races make such fun weekends in cool places you might not otherwise go on a riding vacation.

BWR (of course) - I mean who doesn't want to eat waffles BEFORE AND AFTER a ride. Plus this one is SO long and challenging that it just makes an epic day with all the coolest bike friends.

Tatanka 100 in Sturgis South Dakota- This race broke me down so badly that I stopped and cried 3 miles from the finish, BUT the trails are AWESOME, and it's in a corner of the country that was RAD to visit (I had never been to SD before) and there are so many trails and things to see/do that it's totally worth the trip! Think right next to Mt Rushmore.

Breck 100 - One of my favorite mountain towns with TONS of amazing trails and you do a lot of them in the race! The scenery is incredible too.

High Cascades 100 - I love mountain biking in Oregon!! Rad trails and people, and Bend is another fun town to visit for a race.

Pierre's Hole 60 - There is so much good riding out in WY!!! Plan to stay for a week to see and ride everything. I would recommend one of the shorter routes because the 100 mile race is 3 laps of the same trails and after 2 laps your wrists will be dying!

Leadville100 MTB Duh

Park City Point to Point! - Pretty much the most perfect day on bikes riding every trail in Park City. This race is how I wish I could spend every weekend!

If you want deets on stuff to do or trails to ride around these races I am MORE than happy to tell you all the deets, so hit me up either through insta messages, email (lmfitchett@gmail.com), or in the comments. And like I said, send me your ideas for races to pad this season a little :)


Sunday, December 29, 2019

Guys! I finished a "training block"!!!

Stoke is high as the scenery in Sonoma County is pretty!
My new mantra 'how does time keep going by so fast'.

I don't really know where to begin on this. I've intentionally kept quiet about my athletic goals for 2020 partly because I'm not even sure if this is all real yet, and partly because I don't know if I'm ready to share. But either way, yes, I started 'training' again, in quotes because it feels so insignificant compared to what training looked like pre-baby. Although I know the biggest problem I'm going to have should I stick this thing out is downplaying my efforts and wanting to be the same athlete I was immediately, which just isn't possible or healthy. 

Good company on one of my 'training camp' rides!
The past four weeks coach had me complete a series of efforts a few days each week with 2-3 hour endurance rides on the weekend and lots of core work. I'm calling it a training block because it was a block of specific intervals designed to produce a specific physiological result.  To complete these workouts I rode my bike to school 2-3 days per week for the first 3 weeks (also the first three weeks I was back at school) and knocked out the work on the ride home. This was followed by a short mini solo training camp up here in Sonoma County this week where I did a bunch of 3 hour rides (the longest I can be away from baby before she needs to eat).

Here are some thoughts on returning to work/training while breastfeeding and owning a baby:

1) Holy heck do I get tired by the end of the week! I'm pretty lucky to have a baby that only wakes up once per night at 4 months old, but the physical demands of working, breastfeeding and training zap ALL my energy. On Wednesday two weeks ago while riding home post workout I was convinced I was going to black out because I was so shot. I thought about calling Brendan to rescue me the whole way into the canyon as my vision blurred. The second week of intervals I had to tell coach I couldn't ride both weekend days because I was just so dang tired on Saturday's ride that I was counting down the minutes until I could be done. That doesn't seem like a great mindset, if I'm so tired that I can't wait for a MOUNTAIN BIKE ride to be over I shouldn't be out there, I should be resting. So I think the greatest lesson I'm learning (let's be honest, I will never be done learning this) is that I have a finite amount of energy and I need to respect that. The good news is that winter break has afforded me a little more sleep and I feel great doing 3 hour rides, feeding the baby and NOT working. Thank goodness for this 2 week break from the grind!
Most days I get home from work and this is the first thing I do. 
2) Everyone has been saying to me 'you'll be fast sooner than you know' or something like that. It used to annoy me because I felt like there was a lot of pressure, like people expected me to be fast again right away and my body didn't agree. BUT over the last month with consistent riding I am starting to feel more and more like myself WAY faster than I expected. I'm not FAST, but I feel good, and that's almost more important. Hopefully the speed will come, no need to rush that.

NorCal views make every ride the best.
3) The mental aspect of doing intervals is just as easy to loose as physical fitness. The first couple sets of efforts were HARD mentally. My mind wandered and when I pushed hard but didn't feel like I was going anywhere it was so tempting to give up, WAY more so than before when I was used to doing hard workouts. It took a lot of grit to complete the first few workouts, and then slowly the mental focus started to come back just like my legs slowly started to respond to the efforts.






And lastly but most importantly I have the world's best husband and family a girl could possibly ask for. On Christmas eve we were driving to Brendan's parents house and I told Brendan all I wanted from him for Christmas was for him to be honest with me if it was too much, me training again and needing him to babysit when I'm on the bike. His response was that my dream is his dream, and that he is happy to accommodate my training which basically made me cry. On top of that no one has told me I'm being selfish or crazy trying to train again, and although I'm constantly worrying about those things, it helps so much to have the support of my parents, in-laws and friends. I'm still taking this thing one day at a time, and trying to be realistic about what I want to achieve, but no matter where this journey takes us, it's exciting to think about the opportunities and possibilities.

We have tons of exciting news coming Jan 3, I can't wait to share a little more about our 2020 season!
Baby's growing as fast as I'm getting stronger... I hope I'm getting stronger that fast :)








Tuesday, December 3, 2019

On Being an Athlete with a New Baby

We are 3 months in and I am FINALLY starting to get back into the swing of working out/finding motivation and routine. Along the way there have been starts and stops, questions of what I'm doing and why I'm doing it, and LOTS of flexibility on my part while I figure out when and for how long I can and should work out. I would still say I have no idea what I'm doing, but I've gotten great advice from friends, and have learned a few things along the way, so here is a short blurb about that.

My new normal :)
1) Recovery, it looks much different with a baby. The biggest impact having a baby has on my riding (other than needing a babysitter) is that my post ride recovery looks WAY different. After pretty much every ride, run or swim I come home to a baby who needs to eat, and my boobs need to be drained, so the first 30 minutes after I walk in the door is prioritized for that. This means I found myself many times in the last 3 months in a sweaty kit, on the couch stuck for 5-15 minutes or more, unable to fix a recovery shake or snack, sometimes even without a water bottle. When you walk in the door and your voice/presence reminds the baby that 'Hey, I'm hungry!' and she starts screaming there isn't much you can do besides pull your sportsbra up and feed that baby! BUT a few times I have walked in the house right after Brendan started feeding the baby previously pumped breastmilk and those were the best because I could grab a snack and water, and then sit with them and pump. I think if/as the training ramps up this is more ideal because taking care of my body is still important. Bonus is that this way the baby isn't getting a sweaty boob or salty milk.

Mountain biking is still the best!
2) Every workout takes twice as long as before because I have to drain the boobs before and then again after if I want to be out for more than an hour. This means budgeting time, planning when I wake up if I need to be back by a certain time etc is all a little more difficult. It's been SO worth it though to sacrifice a little sleep to also get a 3 hour ride on a few occasions. We bedshare, which means I can just slip the baby a boob in the early morning and she generally will just take a meal before I sneak out the door. I have also pumped my boobs empty pre-workout as well, if she is sleeping soundly and I don't want to wake her.

3) The lungs were the thing that held me back the most in the beginning. I totally thought my legs would be weak, and the  extra weight would be what bothered me the most, but it was the burning in my lungs!

4) My motivation and drive are so so different and it took me a long time to accept that this is ok. There are days when I just want to lay in bed looking at her face and the bike ride just doesn't happen. I'm at peace now with the idea of missing workouts and not nailing the perfect training plan, it's ok to be loose and kinda free about the whole thing. As I ride more and more the motivation is returning though, so I guess just forcing myself to do core three times a week and to get out on the bike/for a run is the key to reigniting the motivation, it builds on itself.

5) NOTHING is as great as riding a gnarly trail on your mountain bike after 6 months of very limited riding. It's like I'm seeing in color again :)

First bike commute down! 
6) I'm so super grateful for all the years of ultra endurance racing and training. I think hard things are less scary when you are used to doing them, and kitting up to commute to work at 5:30am today was one of those 'hard things' that didn't seem so daunting. Thank you to all the ultra races I did in the past, for making everything else seem so do-able!

So yeah, I'm not an expert and there is a lot I need to learn still, but things are coming around. I'm enjoying every step of the process, and spending time with my baby is still #1 priority, so no crazy long hard riding yet, but it's nice to be back on the bike and having an identity outside of human cafeteria :)

Hit me up with tips and tricks for being a new mom and athlete if you have any!!








Saturday, November 16, 2019

A tale of 4 tow trucks


On Halloween night, at 7:30pm just as the trick or treating traffic in our neighborhood started to die down, sweet cheeks and I shoved off on our first solo road trip in the van. The plan was to drive from Silverado to Santa Rosa in 2 days, 3 hours on the road Thursday evening would put us at a nice camping spot at Fort Tejon, and then just 5ish more on Friday would deliver us to Santa Rosa. Our objective was to see my brother, his wife and all 4 of their kiddos who were flying in from Texas on Friday and only staying for 4 days. Seeing how I really want Addy to have a relationship with her cousins, the timing was sorta critical. 


We rolled out of Silverado with a 'what can go wrong?' attitude. You know, just me, a 9 week old baby, a dog, 450 miles, and a 2003 Sprinter van, sounds like a solid plan.
Well we found out the answer to that little question about 2 hours into the drive, when the van wouldn't start after stopping at a gas station at the bottom of the grapevine. It was 9:30, I had stopped to feed Addy, and since fuel was reasonably priced I figured I would top off the half full tank at the same time (that actually saves my butt later). 

Tow truck #1
So I called Brendan and he took me through a list of things I could try to get the van started again, none of which worked. Around 10pm I called Farmers and they dispatched tow truck #1 to come get me. At this point we were foolishly optimistic it was the alternator, a problem that is pretty straight forward to fix. 
Around 11:40 the tow truck finally showed up. I've never needed roadside assistance before, so lesson 1 of the ordeal was that tow trucks take FOREVER to get to you if you go through insurance. 

We got towed to the Dodge dealer in Santa Clarita and slept there in the van. By that I mean Addy slept, because being over tired, and stressed about getting to Santa Rosa kept me up all night. 

At 7am when the dealer opened I explained to the service manager what happened and he took his sweet time getting around to looking at the van. Lesson 2, car dealerships have no sympathy for a lady stranded with a tiny baby. Waiting for a diagnosis at the dealer took FOREVER, and I was afraid to leave in case they wanted to explain what needed to be done. Thankfully Davey and the baby were really calm the whole time. Around 11am I asked if they could give me an idea of how much longer we would have to wait (all this time they brushed me off when I asked) and they said it was the fuel pump, and that they were trying to find a new one. Fortunately, a nice tow truck driver had been hanging out petting Davey and he offered to tow me somewhere else so I could get the work done that day. Brendan's favorite local Sprinter mechanic was 25 minutes away in San Fernando (I would have gone there the night before but it's in a really sketchy part of town) and he seemed to take pity on me/offered to look at the van and try to fix it even though he was supposed to go home at noon. So after all that waiting we were rushing to get the van onto tow truck #2 of the trip and we were off to San Fernando.


It was hot in Anatoli's waiting room, but Baby A didn't care. 
While Anatoli (Brendan's mechanic) looked at the van Baby A and I sat in his small, cramped 'waiting room' and watched cockroaches waltz across the floor. After realizing I hadn't eaten anything all day I used a gift card one of my way too nice co-workers gifted us when Addy was born and used Grubhub to get lunch delivered. 
Again baby A was an angel through all of this.

Eventually Anatoli came in and told me it was leaky fuel injectors and that he couldn’t finish the job because one was stuck and he wanted to go home (this was 2.5 hours after he was supposed to close for the day). He said I could drive to Santa Rosa if I just never turned the car off, OR if I bought starter fluid and sprayed that into a hose on the engine block to get started again. And since I REALLY wanted to see family I choose the don’t turn the van off ever option and jumped on the road.

Thankfully the drive from San Fernando that day was uneventful. I stopped three times, to feed Addy and once for coffee, and just left the van running (sorry environment!). I was crazy tired, and ate 4 apples in a row at one point to stay awake. But we made it to my sister’s house in Cotati (20 minutes from my parents) by 9:30pm and only missed out on half a day with the cousins!

Davey keeping Addy safe.
Fast forward a week, Brendan flew out and we were planning on driving into the Southern Sierras on our way home for a mountain biking adventure with friends. Thinking we would get the van proper fixed by Anatoli on our way home at the end of the weekend we hit the road Friday evening and slept at Harris Ranch, the halfway point to our destination.
The next morning, when we stopped for fuel just before heading into the wilderness the van died in a new way, while idling at the pump. At first we couldn’t get it started, called insurance to get it towed and were told it would cost a small fortune to tow from the middle of nowhere town we were in. We did a bunch of research to find a mechanic close enough for a reasonable towing fee, and eventually tried a few more times to get the van going. Thankfully Brendan is pretty smart and he got it started by not letting the revs drop below 1500. And we were on our way, this time to a mechanic in Salinas that our neighbor uses (it was the closest trusted mechanic who was also willing to look at the van that day).

We made it to Salinas just to wait for a few hours and then be told it was the low pressure fuel pump which they didn't have, and it would take a week to get one. After MORE research Brendan found a mobile mechanic in Santa Rosa, yes, where we had come from a day ago, who had the part and was willing to do the work.

Addy and I chilling in the van while Meth mechanic
looked at it with Brendan.
So again we struggled to get the van going, and then somehow managed to survive the congestion of the bay area while keeping the revs up, to arrive in Cotati at 7:30pm.
Mechanic #4 was a little crazy, maybe on meth, and in a spazy, possessed sort of way worked through replacing the low pressure fuel pump with Brendan. When the van still wouldn’t start they trouble shooted some more, until 12:30am when they came to the conclusion it was the high pressure pump, and meth mechanic said he needed to eat dinner.

Feeling foolishly optimistic on Sunday morning.

At this point starter fluid worked again to get the van running so we decided to drive home and have Brendan replace the part in our own driveway to save the cost of labor. I had been napping in the van bed with the baby while the boys worked on the van, so I felt rested enough to drive part way, getting us to the rest stop where I-5 meets the 580 at 2am Sunday morning. Yes, this means we crossed the Richmond bridge 3 times in 2 days.

In the morning we hit the road again, feeling confident we would make it home by mid-day, so much so that we were making plans: the first think I’m going to do when we get home is wash the baby… oh if it was only that easy.

Instead, you guessed it, the van died AGAIN, this time on I-5 while Brendan was cruising along at 75mph in the middle of nowhere about 65 miles north of Bakersfield.
I’m going to stop here to say that through all this ridiculousness somehow I was able to remain incredibly calm. Through the towing at midnight when I was alone, Anatoli’s cockroach infested waiting room, the night in meth mechanic’s yard with the boys trying over and over again to start the van, I was upset, but calm and collected. I’m not sure if it was for the baby’s well being, or I’m just different now, but it’s sorta surprising that all the stress, loss of sleep, uncertainty about the van didn’t break me. Even on the side of I-5 in 85 degree weather in a broken van, big rigs driving by within feet of us at 70 miles per hour, causing the van to sway as each truck passed, I was calm and relaxed. I sat on the bed with the baby and talked to her, fed her and watched her sleep. And she was an absolute angel again, not crying or fussing, probably not even really aware of how dangerous and stressful a situation we were in.

On I-5 in the middle of nowhere.
While she slept I did send out a plea for help to everyone I knew and on Insta, which was soon answered by the nicest most thoughtful friend in the world who offered to come rescue the baby and me. At that point it was around 3pm and I felt like I just needed to get the baby home. I couldn’t spend a week in Bakersfield waiting for the van to get fixed with a 10 week old and a dog.
Tow truck #3 was the nicest of the tow trucks I've been in haha
Tori to the rescue!!!!!
The van went on tow truck #3 around 4pm, after 2 hours of waiting. And around 5pm Tori met us at the mechanics to drive the baby and me home.

Brendan stayed in Bakersfield, wasn’t able to get the first mechanic to do the work, had the van towed AGAIN to the Mercedes dealer in town. After the new high pressure fuel pump didn’t work and just as they were about to install another $800 part Brendan suggested replacing a $14 seal (as suggested by some Sprinter Guru in South Carolina) and low and behold, that was what got the van working normally again.

We spent about $3,000 in parts and labor, saw 5 total mechanics, got towed 4 times, and drove about 1,000 miles in search of the answer and it turned out to be a $14 seal. Yep, that is our awesome #Vanlife life right now. Kicking ourselves for wasting so much time and money on a problem that could have been so cheap and easy to fix.

On the bright side the van works again, and I have had incredibly good luck driving that van ALL OVER the western half of the country, alone most of the time. We are so grateful to be home safe right now. And I’ll definitely think twice before going on another road trip with a little baby and a dog 😊

Monday, November 11, 2019

Dear Baby A,

One year ago I sat in a hospital bed wearing nothing but a pair of cycling shorts and sports bra. My legs didn't really work, and when I tried to move them using my hands it felt like I was getting stabbed with 100 steak knives. Only one doctor spoke English there, and he wasn't on duty, just nice enough to come in every few hours to check up on me and explain the situation. There was a NP who spoke a little English, but mostly I was helpless and alone. The day before I had been 'La Championa', they had cheered 'fuerte' at me and I had felt powerful, strong, proud. Now I was no one, with a dying cell phone (no way to communicate with loved ones in the US) and a broken body. It felt like the worst day of my life. I cried for maybe 5 of the 10 hours I was there before checking myself out without the doctors permission. I laid in that bed thinking about how I was giving up on my dream of wining La Ruta, of what this Rhabdo meant for my body, my career, and although I didn't really understand that I was dying at the time, it felt so hopeless.

Fast forward to today, November 4, 2019 I am writing a blog post while you nap. There is an infant car seat by the door and baby bottles have replaced cycling bottles in the sink. I blinked an eye and my life is dramatically different. It doesn't seem real sometimes, it's beyond my wildest dreams to wake up each morning and see your perfect being next to me. Because I almost died I got you. Because the heat stroke, dehydration, and rhabdomylosis I was forced to stay off the bike for 3 weeks, just long enough for my body to return to normal female functioning, just long enough to conceive you.

I feel lucky beyond explanation that life took this turn. After 10 hours in Hospital Max Peralta, the following two days of travel, uncertainty and pain, the weeks of waiting to recover, depression and despair, for all that to result in you is mind blowing. We didn't necessarily expect you, and it was certainly a surprise when we found out 3 months later that the lethargy and off-ness I experienced all through December was because you were growing in my womb. But it was the most beautiful surprise. Words cannot express how grateful I am, how incredibly lucky I feel every time I look at your face. I would do it all over again, I would push myself past the reasonable limit, give up on the dream, suffer from the agonizing pain, loneliness,and despair, to meet you. Thank you for turning one of the hardest days of my life into the most beautiful year. Thank you for teaching me that the suffering was worth it, and that there are more important things in life than bike racing. Thank you for making me a mother.

Love,
your biggest fan,
Mom


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Baby update #3 TWO Months?!? HOW?

During the first week post birth everyone told us the first 6 weeks is the hardest and at that point 6 weeks seemed like an eternity to me. Then I blinked and here we are 8 weeks into this baby thing. Lately I feel like time is FLYING and sometimes it feels like I was never even pregnant. And during those times I look at this perfect little human and wonder how I got so lucky to be holding this 'poop machine' (a term coined by the infamous Menso). But then I feel the crazy gap between my abs, or the baby grabs my extra tummy skin while breast feeding. The two main souvenirs I have from pregnancy make it easier to believe that my belly swelled up to the size of a watermelon this past summer and did in fact grow this human. 

Having friends at all stages helps to reflect on where we have been
and where this baby journey will take us :)
Owning a baby continues to fascinate us, but we are SLOWLY figuring stuff out, and falling into a nice little routine that still sees me happy to do nothing but clean the floor and stare into those sweet eyes most of the time. I know, who the heck am I? I did buy a Garmin watch this weekend (for full price, double who even am I!?!) to track my swimming, sleep, etc. and the damn thing yells at me to MOVE sometimes when I sit with the baby too long, and I want to yell back SHE'S SLEEPING! haha. 
And that brings me to the thing that's been on my mind most lately, which is identity. It's strange to talk to people about past Larissa, I was a professional mountain bike racer, I am a professional mountain bike racer? What even am I? It doesn't help that I don't know if I will race again, but is it black and white? I didn't retire, but I also don't get paid to ride my bike anymore... my desire to get out the door and exercise is increasing, but I'm more likely to go for a run or swim than jump on my bike, which is really strange to think about and even weirder to write down. To be fair, you get a much better workout running for 30 min than riding a bike for the same amount of time, and the gear involved is much simpler. And the swimming thing is intentional, it helps decompress my back after days of holding a 10 pound weight in my arms/scrunching over to look at her while she eats... Plus I believe swimming is strengthening my shoulders, arms, back and core, all of which I need as the baby gets heavier. But yeah, back to the point, Larissa the runner/swimmer is not really a bike racer right now, and that feels strange. And although I do feel it is healthy right now to focus on sweet cheeks and not get over ambitious about bike racing, the uncertainty about whether that chapter is over is nagging on the frayed edges of my mind. 

In any case, 2 months in and we are all still alive. Still working on the kitchen (slowly because you can only mix a tiny bit of mortar at a time when you know the nap could last anywhere from 30 min to 2 hours), spending time with friends and starting to forget about the guilt from not working. I only have one month left before I return to school, and I've been savoring every minute of every day and trying to see as many friends as possible before life gets crazy. Thursday the baby and I are driving north to visit my parents in Santa Rosa and to meet all her cousins! Wish us luck because we are doing the 8+ hour drive ALONE! 

We had a heat wave last week and even the coast was crazy hot. Too hot to take Baby A out in the direct sun to put her toes in the water :(