binary girl: the secret blog



Archive for the ‘exercise’ Category


Monday, August 5th, 2013

Yesterday I rode a metric century (aka 62.137 miles)! Actually, I rode 64.1 miles, so I kicked the metric’s butt. And the best part is that before this, my longest ride ever was only 37 miles, and I have a cold. So I am pretty frikin’ proud of myself. :D

I was super anxious about the ride going in, because I had planned on doing the climbing part of the route the weekend before, but came down with a pretty bad cold. So, I didn’t really feel prepared, and I’d never done an organized race before, so I was somewhat nervous about getting lost, being slammed in with a bunch of other riders at the start, etc. So, rife with anxiety, I woke up at 4:30 am to prepare (after going to bed at 10ish and getting up twice for a little sickobean Maxie). I took the water insert out of my Camelbak to save some weight (my upper body gets really sore on long rides) and instead threw in some Clif Bars, short gloves, and a bike pump, and put two water bottles on my bike — one with plain water and one with pomegranate berry Cytomax. I wore my helmet, a hair tie of K’s to keep the hair from my face, my long gloves, a short-sleeved jersey with arm warmers, and short-legged biking shorts with leg warmers, and topped it off with my neon yellow windbreaker. For my feet, I did my typical knee-length socks and some normal shoes (I don’t have any biking footgear). I then took Advil and some DayQuil to try to convince my nose to un-plug. :)

At 6:15, Mike (our neighbor) rode on over and we threw his bike in my van and made our way to Coyote Point. It was chilly! I was glad I had picked the clothing I did.

Race start!
Me and my neighbor Mike, ready to take on the Tour de Peninsula!

We took off promptly at 7 to “Bicycle Race” by Queen and made our way out of Coyote Point and through downtown San Mateo. They blocked off 3rd St. for us, but I quickly lost Mike when I had to stop at a stop sign that he didn’t need to (they were waving us through unless there were cars present). We went down Crystal Springs Road, where a family had set up a free “espresso and cookies” stop, and then we eventually joined up to Polhemus Road, where I stopped at the first rest stop, mainly to take off my jacket and change to shorty gloves and to check out the snackage (I didn’t eat anything before the race because of nerves, and scarfed down a Clif Bar while riding). I got back on my bike pretty quickly and took off down the hill towards the 280 overpass, then got onto Cañada, where there was a second rest stop at the Water Temple — and honestly, if I had known the next stop was so close I probably wouldn’t have hit the first (I ended up skipping that one on the way back). I ate some of Buck’s coffee cake and drank a bunch of water and used the facilities.

Water temple!
Happily, the race provided bathrooms so I didn’t have to use the normal ones at the Water Temple… yech!

After the Water Temple it was down more of Cañada, where I met a really nice couple on a tandem who I spoke to for a while. Pretty much everyone who I talked to was impressed (or pretended that they were :D ) that I’d decided to do this ride with so little training on my own, and everyone was extremely encouraging. :D I made my way through Woodside and started up King’s Mountain Road, which was extremely long and tiring. At one point here I was forced to stop by a couple of riders who decided to sandwich me (which is completely insane because I usually ride close to the right… except when I start getting tired and a little veery. But in this case I was not being veery, they were being RUDE!) and again 2/3rd up King’s Mountain, when I just needed a darn break (and stopped where a bunch of other people had stopped). This is where I saw my only crash — a guy couldn’t get going and clipped in at the same time and fell over in the middle of the street, and then he couldn’t unclip his bottom foot so he couldn’t get up and needed help. Anyway, I continued my merry way up the hill and got to the top and BAM! THERE WERE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SAMMIES!

Kings Mountain at Tunitas Creek
Peanut butter jelly time! Peanut butter jelly time!

I hung out there for 20 minutes (according to my bike computer). Mama needed some time. At some point up KMR I pushed my arm warmers down and I threw them in my pack here.

Then I headed on up Skyline and to the point where they say to you, “would you like to continue on your 64-mi ride of pain, or take 7 miles off of this ride and not do that loop up there that is very looptastic?” Now, had this been like, 5 hours into the ride, I’d be like, “Uh, yeah, maybe that’s a good idea.” But at this point (at like 27mi, 3.5 hours), I was thinking, “I AM NOT SIGNING UP FOR THIS RIDE AND NOT DOING A FUCKING METRIC CENTURY. GODDAMNIT. TENACITY WILL CARRY ME THROUGH.” So I scoffed and went off towards La Honda Road.

Halfway done!
The people were very nice, but it’s about this time I realize that I’m probably at the very end of the pack. Which is weird because no one passed me and there were a LOT of people at the last rest stop… (and I put my jacket back on). And my face is stern because I can’t see my phone screen.

So I’m tooling around wondering where everyone is, then I have to go down Old La Honda, which was so incredibly cold and foggy (and gorgeous) that my feet went completely numb by the time I hit the bottom. Completely. And my shoulders and arms were REALLY hurting, from leaning over and breaking. I’m glad that I didn’t wear water in my Camelbak but I’m having a hard time hydrating properly because I’m too wobbly to pull a hand off my handlebars and grab my bottles, especially going up or downhill. Then I see Alice’s again and they’ve removed the “go this way for the shorty way” sign, meaning, uh, it’s been long time, I guess, and I head on down where eventually we dump back into Woodside and I confidently made my way, with two of my friends (Webb his friend Jeff), up Cañada, stopping again at the Water Temple…

Water temple again, 44mi
Here they tell me they’re out of water and that the other rest stops are starting to close up. At 44 mi! Ack! I call Brandon to tell him where I am and he tells me he’s with Mike and they’ll see me in two hours. I think he’s kidding but I then think he’s not… since I’m already 5.5 hours in. Jacket: back off.

We rode back out towards 280 and somehow Webb and Jeff missed the turnoff to the overpass, because the guy there was not doing a good job waving (apparently another woman I was riding with later missed it too), so I was wondering if they knew a shortcut since Jeff had done the ride before. I idly thought about the fact that this, when it’s my morning commute, feels much easier because I haven’t ridden 44 miles beforehand, as I go over the freeway and wonder if I’m going to have to walk my bike up the incline towards Polhemus. I decide not to stop at the rest stop there (as mentioned previously) and head down Polhemus, to do the rest of the Crystal Springs loop. The 280 overpass overhead was ENORMOUS and looking up at it literally made me feel like I was going nowhere. Considering the fact that my legs were protesting even the smallest incline at this point, I very well may have not been going anywhere :D Eventually Crystal Springs dumped me at the entrance to Sawyer Camp Trail…

Sawyer camp trail
The last rest stop! Well, at least, that I’ll stop at.

This was at about 6:17 into the ride, I was there approx 5 minutes (time enough to chug some water and eat something), and then I took off down the trail. At this point I met up with a woman who I rode the rest of the ride with. The views here were completely amazing, since the trail travels next to the reservoir and the weather had cleared up completely. Going down the trail was only problematic in that there were a lot of pedestrians there who were not really moving aside for us, but otherwise, it was great until we go to the very end, where I had to get off my bike and walk up the incline towards the dam itself. I am not ashamed to say here that I told that incline to “f*&$ right off”. (So at this point my partner got far ahead of me… but she stopped at the next rest stop and I didn’t.) Then I took off down through Millbrae, stopping at every stop sign even though my brakes started complaining (it was pretty steeply downhill) and my arms were killing me. At the stop light at El Camino she caught up with me again, and we made our way down through Millbrae and Burlingame and I called B on Airport Blvd to tell him that we were almost there.

Since the ride was now mostly unsupported, we actually got lost at the end, with a third rider, but we all went through the finish line and the announcer announced our FINISH!


Done! Metric century accomplished!
Max woke up from his nap for this so he was officially unwilling to greet me at all. Katie and Brandon screamed for me, Katie gave me a huge hug, and Max stood on the sidewalk pouting until I went over to him.

Now, the bummer — they literally had broken down the entire area by the time we got there. The only thing that was still open was the place where you could get a shirt, and considering the fact that this is billed as “not a race, but a recreational ride” (something they repeated at the start line), I was certainly disappointed that myself and all the people who finished after me had NOTHING to do at 2:30pm. Granted, I was totally, and completely exhausted… it was still a disappointment, especially now on Facebook when I see the things that were there for the riders to ostensibly do (REI photo booth, etc). HOWEVER, I am completely entirely stoked that I did a metric century, and super proud of myself!

I drove the kids home while B took off in his truck and realized on the way there that I was absolutely too tired to do any more driving of any kind — in fact, I accidentally fell asleep on the floor of the living room after taking a shower and waiting for B to walk the dogs so we could go out to dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory. I slogged through dinner but I could not open my eyes except by huge force of will.

My current eye status. About to fall asleep in public.
There is a kid on either side of me and I could not care less what they are doing because I’m trying to be awake.

I ran into our swim instructor there, drank a beer, ate some raviolis and ice cream, and went home and climbed into bed. I even agreed to let The Elder Child sleep with me because I simply didn’t care. Unfortunately, I woke up with a migraine (probably from under-hydrating) and my cold seems worse today but WHO CARES!


A shout-out to my husband for not killing the kids during the day, to the kids for not driving daddy to suicide, and to my friends for their words of encouragement.

Strava link and map!

tahoe, or how i realized that there is no rest on vacation

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Brandon and Derek, his little brother, signed up for The Death Ride in Alpine Valley, a 130-mi tour of 5 alpine passes that happened on 7/13. So, we decided to do a Tahoe vacation around it, and got the idea to stay at Aston Lakeland Village, on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, from my hairdresser, who is getting married there later this year.

So, on Sunday, Brandon took off with his truck and our boat (with all our bikes/bike trailer/trail-a-bike in the back) while I tried to run the kids ragged at the school and inside. After about an hour, I piled them in the car and we headed east. At lunchtime, I found a McDonalds with a playplace inside and let them get a little more of their wiggles out, but by the time we actually ended up in Tahoe at our place (where B had thankfully already checked in), they were DONE. And they spent the rest of the night whining and being hellions, so we went to the market and were angry, and we ate dinner and were angry, and we watched a movie and were angry. We angrily checked out the marina and walked around being cranky and were just a generally unhappy people.

Let me also mention here that I literally was up at least three times every night on this trip and rarely slept in my own bed — each night would see 2-3 beds for me and Brandon. We’d go to bed in one, then go to a kid’s in the night, and then either end up back in our own or in the other kid’s. Thus: tired parents nearly all vacation (my best sleep was the first night back, hurray).

Monday, right when Max woke up, I took him out on “the bridge”, because he had been requesting it. Then we wandered about a bit on the beach and around the resorty place, and when we went back, I took Katie for a similar walk. We had breakfast and Brandon went for a brief ride, then we nearly immediately hit the pool for swimming. The rest of the day went: t-ball/play structure, more checking out the pier, lunch, and then we decided to rent a paddleboat. This was nearly impossible to do because Katie was hanging on to the back (it was a four-seater) but Max was too small to do the same, so I had him in my lap as I was sitting in this weird position trying to pedal the boat. Katie hung onto my arm, and at one point got into the lake itself, which was adorable — she’s super brave. The kids were ogling the parasailers and the boats and in general enjoyed the experience. When we got back, we did some more pool + popsicles, and my parents and BIL/SIL/niece all showed up at 8:30pm, so the kids SPAZZED OUT and had a really, really hard time falling asleep. (It didn’t help that room 458 has an impossibly squeaky second floor so every time someone walked up there — which is where the main living area is — it woke the kids up underneath.)

Tuesday we had a huge family breakfast (eggs and stuff) and then did a walk adventure with Grammy and Grandpa before we decided to launch the boat at Tahoe Keys Marina. My dad and I, with the kids, tooled around the lake until we arrived at Ski Run Marina, where we met the water taxi and docked the boat at a buoy. My dad showed the kids how to identify a channel by the red/right/return channel marker idea, so they spent the entire time screaming out red and green channel markers. We ate lunch at the marina with Brandon (holy crap overpriced Riva, Batman) and then headed back to the hotel, where the kids had a nap and a movie while I went on a bike ride with Aubrey, my SIL (strava link). On the topic of Aubrey and Derek, before they arrived Katie would not stop talking about how excited she was to see her aunt and uncle (she declared Derek to be her favorite uncle before he arrived) — but minutes after they got there, Katie was no longer interested in them at all and instead became totally enamored/obsessed with her 6mo cousin, Elise, who she would barely leave her alone for 2 seconds. Elise (and Aubrey) took it well for the most part, but there were times when Katie was getting in her face and it was making her upset, for sure. On the good side, Katie was so incredibly loving and caring towards Elise, and I am so happy that my little girl behaving that way. (Also, B and Derek went for a ride together.)

Wednesday I started to really feel the lack of sleep that my children were gifting me. Also, we were supposed to go boating, but my dad and my husband combined to be SuperDoofusMan, without half a brain between them, which led me to have a rage breakdown at the pool where I was yelling into my cell phone at them. (Story: they were supposed to get the boat and then fill it with gas. Somehow it took them oer TWO FUCKING HOURS even though I had told them the kids were ready to go, because they decided to a) go to Nevada to attempt to get gas instead of actually going to the marina right next to Ski Run (as directed), but there were no gas stations there so they had to go back but they got lost and then b) somehow Brandon decided, because he was heat/drug addled, that I was going to go to a store and get ice? Even though I had just told him that the kids were ready to go? (When I told my mom this she also looked at him like he was on some sort of foreign substance.) So I decided, after trying to manage them freaking out for those two hours that they wanted to go NOW, that we were going to go swimming instead, because Elise was going swimming with her parents and it was ridiculous that we were still waiting for them. Eventually my dad and Brandon showed up and at some point I decided to start talking to them again, but HOLY CRAP was I angry. We did more of that nap/movie thing after lunch and then I was saved from being a pissy human being by having dinner with Carolyn (bluepoof — who blogged about her day and our meal), who was taking a solo bike trip through the area. I love me some ‘poof.

Thursday was more boating, but this time we took Derek, Aubrey, and Elise with us. Katie and Max are very interesting on the boat — Max tends to want to cuddle/pass out but Katie is somewhat unnerved by the whole thing and would be happy to spend it hiding on me. (I actually like this because it means I get to cuddle either of them — and in both cases it’s on terms I enjoy, where Max isn’t trying to poke/pick at me and Katie isn’t wiggling. Win!) On the other hand, the minute that Grandpa offered either of them the opportunity to drive, they were all over it, and enjoyed being “in charge”. We drove around for quite a while before we decided to head back for lunch, and then did the normal swimming/hanging out for a nap thing. My parents went out for dinner together and Aubrey and Derek had a date, so we spent time trying to babysit Elise, who got successively fussier and fussier with me until she was wailing, while Katie did her darnedest to help me soothe her until B and Max returned with pizzas for us. The minute that Brandon held her, she calmed, which I assume is because he is enough like his brother that she felt comforted (although we can pretend that he is a superior parent ;) ). Eventually they returned and we did a little more swimming; I think I probably took Katie out to the play structure somewhere here, too.

Friday, Brandon, Derek, Aubrey, and Elise all went to Alpine Valley to pick up their race packets while I took the kids to the pool. I believe at this point I was ready to stab someone in the face for the excessive amount of alone time I was spending with the kids, even though my mom was heroically hanging out with us as well. When they returned, I went with my mom to the store for some supplies (and Starbucks, of course), then came back and took a long bike ride alone (strava link). Brandon and I went out for dinner together at Base Camp Pizza and I think my dad took the kids out (I know at some point he also took Katie kite flying). $5 says that we did some swimming that day. Brandon and Derek prepped for their early morning departure for the Death Ride the next day (I think they got up at 3:30 or something ridic) so I had a relatively horrid night of flip-flopping between kid beds and waking up when the guys did (being a mom makes me a super ridiculously light sleeper, apparently), and then at 5, when I was sleeping with Katie, Max had a bad dream and when I went to his bed and Katie had a crazy tantrum and OUR DAY WAS STARTED!!! WOO!!!

Saturday… was an mash-up of stuff. Katie went to the kids’ club at the resort to do PIRATE DAY!!!! from 9-12, so we (my parents, Aubrey/Elise) took Max on a walk and played on the play structure with him, generally enjoying some kiddo alone time until we went to pick her up (she was building a sandcastle and totally uninterested in stopping). I showed Max the army guys that B had bought him and he spent a huge amount of time playing “stand up the guys and knock them down” while I talked to a German lady I met who lives in Mountain View. We also went kite flying and did more swimming and some sandcastle building, and it was generally chill and wonderfully laid back, and when the guys finally contacted us to tell us that they were alive and had been successful at finishing the ride, we got a bunch of the leftovers of food together for a meal and started packing up.

Sunday consisted of: packing the cars, getting in the boat with my dad and kids and trying to find the entrance to the Tahoe Keys marina (we failed twice), and then driving back through the crappy traffic going back to the Bay Area. We stopped for a late lunch with B at another McDonald’s Play Place, and otherwise tried to get back as soon as we could and I listened to a lot of radio about the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin trial. I got back to the house to find that the maids, who had come on Monday, had left the front door unlocked! All week! At least they set the alarm, though?

Some funny conversations:
Katie: Mommy, I want to marry Max when I grow up.
Me: You know, sweetie, one day you might change your mind about that.
K: I love him so much!
Me: I know, but one day you may meet someone you love just as much as you love Max, but in a different way, and you’ll want to marry them.
K: I don’t want to love anyone as much as I love him!

(This morning I was relaying this conversation to Caroline while driving the kids to school and Max stated, “I DON’T WANNA GET MARRIED!” and Katie tried to explain to Max that he had to get married one day or he’d have to live alone [I corrected that] or that one day he could marry a girl or a boy that he loved very much.)

Over the trip Max’s speaking ability improved remarkably — he is annunciating much more clearly and using even more complicated sentence structure. He also attaches to toys very strongly (he wanted to keep Elise’s bath toys and sleep with them, and they had little conversations between each other, and later attached to the pool rocket toys). Katie’s tantrums were at a minimum but her sass/talkback also has started spiking. I’ve noticed that of the two of them, Max is generally more responsive, while Katie gets much more immersed into things (like imaginative play/television), making her seem less responsive. Both of them were very excited about swimming (especially with us) but when I didn’t want to swim anymore, Katie was able to do the entire circumference of the pool alone, using the side when she needed to stop and breathe. She also loved the hot tub and was fascinated by women in bikinis (“Mommy, will you get me a Barbie that’s naked but with a milkie holder and the bottoms?”), and very observant of how people at the pool laid out (she told my dad that to relax, men put their arms behind their heads and women put them down by their sides).

All in all, it was awesome (but not restful) to spend so much time with my peeps. :D

the weekend, and my longest ride

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

This weekend started earlyish — Katie was sick at the end of the day at school on Thursday, but well enough that she needed something to do on Friday, so my dad came down and the three of us went to see Monsters University. She was great, but extremely lethargic (and additionally, it was HOT) and not as communicative with Grandpa as I think any of us would have liked. We had frozen yogurt after the movie, and stopped by Pier One to buy kites for the summer (K: butterfly, and then she picked a dragon for M). She was well enough to still attend Parent’s Night Out, so we dropped her back at school with Max and then went and had the most amazing dinner at John Bentley’s in Redwood City. (GO THERE.) Everything we ate/drank was delicious and we both stuffed ourselves, had a great waiter, and met the chef himself.


Saturday was ridiculously hot, so after gymnastics (where Max had a meltdown and wouldn’t really DO gymnastics until halfway through, preferring to be my little barnacle), we headed home and immediately brought out all the water-related toys/pools. Ava/Shane and their little monkeys showed up and we all just hung out while the kids played in the water and we eventually ate bbq and had lots of popsicles. After lunch, they left, and Max napped while I hung outside with Katie, where I accidentally fell asleep with her in the hammock — total heaven. I woke up because I ended up sunburning my foot, took her inside, and realized I’d sunburnt my shoulders, too. We ate dinner and then went out for frozen-yogurt-in-jammies. The day was essentially fantastic.

Sunday morning, we started out by meeting our new babysitter Tara, and then headed out for a bike ride sans kids. We started out by driving to La Honda via the twisties, which left me slightly nauseated (per my usual). I needed to go change some of my biking gear, so I walked up to the general store and greeted the dogs at the front door. The guy who worked there told me their names and I asked him if I could use his facilities, which he declined and pointed me at a restaurant down the road, so I responded, “Oh, I just wanted to change, I’ll go do it in the car — I’m not THAT shy.” His reply? “Well, if you’re not that shy, maybe I can help you.” External response: “Aww.” Internal response: “Ew.”

I hadn’t eaten anything at this point, and pretty much four miles into the ride I was complaining of hunger to Brandon and expressing the wish that I could somehow reach into my pack and pull out the bear claw I had there. Instead, I decided to try drafting — which funnily I’ve done before without realizing, I just thought that the person in front of me was suddenly slowing down when I got close which is why riding was so much easier. Brandon was obviously holding back so I could keep up, and when we got to San Gregorio market I nearly threw my backpack off to attack my pastry. (I had been drinking some Cytomax water to try to stave off the hunger but that didn’t do much.) At the market we ran into our neighbor, who owns a local cycling shop, and his son and their riding group, and they seemed excited that I was going to try go to up Stage Road — a cat 4 hill (I don’t normally ride hills with ratings).

It was on this hill that I realized that it’s extremely different for me, riding alone vs riding with someone. Usually I listen to a podcast and focus on a fixed point in front of me and space out while I do any “work”. In this case, I was concentrating on my own riding, where Brandon was in comparison to me (we had to work on this — I’ll describe later), Brandon talking to me, the people passing me (including neighbor guy), and the feeling I had that B was holding back. I was breathing pretty hard by the time we got to the top but not feeling awful.

We headed down the coast, where I could tell that that last hill had hit me hard, and that I was probably not having a “peak physical” day, because nearly every rolly hill felt harder than I felt it should have. We stopped to take some pics together, and Brandon was complimenting me on how well I was doing. Then he said something very… interesting: “I’m so glad I could do this with you and take a rest day!” Seriously? Seriously, sir? I’m busting my ass and you’re cycling circles around me and then you want to go and rub it in by making a comment about how easy this is for you?

Seriously, my husband, folks. Sometimes he’s not the brightest. ;P

So we did this loop down the coast and back up to Pescadero, where we had lunch. We talked to a bunch of folk there and this one girl was telling me about how she didn’t want to ride up Stage Road and I was thinking, all smart-like, “Oh hey, I already did that, HA! Hard part is DONE!”

Except it wasn’t, and going up Stage Road’s longer second cat 4 was long and torturous, and when I get tired I tend to ride swervy, and Brandon kept riding to the left of my back tire, so on top of the mental work I was doing already, I was getting really frustrated because I felt like I had to do more work to avoid hitting him (in reality there was no chance I was going to hit him, he would have easily moved). So — I asked him to move either ahead of or behind me, and that helped a great deal. :) We were passed by a ton of motorcyclists, and I had to stop at one point because he started talking to me and I couldn’t hear him well so I just stopped. I gave myself a minute to compose and hit the top of the hill with no problem.

Coming down the other side, we nearly careened into a truck that turned across both lanes as it came onto the road; I braked hard and my back tire skidded around a bit, and B flew by me and then off the road a little but neither of us crashed into each other or the truck, which was awesome. We made it back to the main road and I started at this point to stress seriously because I knew what time it was, and when we had to be home by (we’d already called the babysitter for an extension), so finally, as we headed on back up towards La Honda, I yelled at B to stop waiting for me and to just hit it and get to the truck and get his stuff loaded.

I would then classify the rest of this ride as “ow ow ow ow ow”. My back hurt because I have terrible posture while riding. My hips hurt because they don’t often do this sort of work. My shoulder hurt because I do a lot of pulling on my handlebars when I ride. I was happy that I’d already made this my longest ride ever, but I was continually surprised that I wasn’t there yet, and then suddenly I came to the intersection of La Honda Road and 84 and I didn’t know which way to go and then suddenly B was there! So I crossed the street and gave him my bike and fell into the truck and was too tired to do anything, even get carsick.

We got home and I talked to the babysitter for a bit about how the kids behaved (Katie told her that she was going to tell me that she couldn’t babysit for us anymore when the babysitter made her pick up trash she’d thrown on the floor and put it into the trash can — gasp!); they had spent their day in the hot tub, the kiddie pool, and trying to be cool indoors. I helped prepare the kids to go out to the block party with B, then threw myself in the shower and got my tush down there. I LIVE IN THE BEST NEIGHBORHOOD. We had a taco truck, bounce house, and people brought drinks and desserts; there were water tables and normal tables and TONS of kids and then the fire department showed up with two different rigs (a big truck and a smaller one) for the kids to climb over. (The firemen there had literally just come from putting out a brush fire. And, they were the most patient and understanding people, giving into Katie’s assorted requests for the lights and siren, etc.) It was pretty nice because I could space out and be tired and the kids were occupied and running around — most miraculously Max, because he hadn’t had a nap (and he made it through to bedtime, when he fell asleep on Brandon on the sofa). Katie had some “interactions” with neighborhood kids which led to a meltdown (I attribute this to being overtired and extremely hot) but she recovered.

Anyway. This weekend was hot as heck but really awesome. Yay! I especially liked all the quality family time, and the husbandly/wifely time.

Here’s Brandon’s post, including lots of pics of me making faces and slouching.

Biking the coast!

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Biking the coast!

Originally uploaded by alibee09

Somewhere in Portola Valley

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Somewhere in Portola Valley

Originally uploaded by alibee09


Saturday, May 18th, 2013


Originally uploaded by alibee09


Saturday, May 18th, 2013


Originally uploaded by alibee09

9.54 mi

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

9.54 mi

Originally uploaded by alibee09


Saturday, May 18th, 2013


Originally uploaded by alibee09

mother’s day

Monday, May 14th, 2012

In anticipation of Mother’s Day, K&M’s school had parent’s night out on Friday, so Brandon and I decided that we would use a Groupon that we had for a local eatery and then hit the movies. Brandon’s bro and our SIL were also arriving that night, to stay with us for the weekend, so we arranged to meet them at the movies.

Dinner, at the Redwood Creek Grill, was … meh. I feel like that in the two times I’ve been there, the place is poorly prepared for the kind of business they would expect to get in downtown RWC. First time, even though we got there close to dinner opening, they were out of shortribs. This time, we both ordered them, but our portions were of vastly different size, mine was warm but B’s was half-cold, and they were sauced a TON (which put B off to the point that he didn’t even eat his). However, service-wise, they were great; they gave us each a free glass of wine and gave B a coupon for a free entree at a later date. On a Groupon.

Then, we went to see The Avengers. I had been having back problems earlier that day, and I had taken a muscle relaxant, so … apparently that, mixed with the wine, meant that I was literally unable to not doze off during the movie. This makes me slightly irate at myself because I really wanted to see the damn movie! :P

Afterwards, Aubrey and I went home, while Derek surprised Katie and Max by showing up with B at PNO.

The next day we did our typical stuff; gym class, lunch, and then we spent the day hanging out outside and enjoying the sun (and hot tub). I was still nearly comatose (I am not sure if it was from the meds from the day before or the fact Max woke up four times or what) so my wonderful husband and BIL/SIL let me take a nap. Love those peeps. Then we made ribs and it was nom. Aubrey gave me a massage (she’s a licensed massage therapist) that was in turn totally agonizing and great. :) We ended the night with Thor (which I managed to stay awake through).

Mother’s day was AWESOME. It started out with me sleeping in (hurrah!) and then breakfast of bacon, scramble, and fruit salad. Then we went on a bike ride down Cañada Rd (5.7 miles each way), half of which is closed to non-bike traffic on Sundays; I was on my new bike, K&M were in the trailer behind Brandon, and Aubrey and Derek rode our mountain bikes. The ride was super windy but totally awesome, and we even took a little side-tour to the Pulgas Water Temple because K&M had both conked out. (Disgusting bit: there’s a reflecting pool in front of the temple and I was like, wtf, there’s something that looks like a stick floating in the pool. Turns out… no, it was a dead squirrel floating there. Since it was floating in water it looked all normal and perfect, except that it was underwater. Somehow, I find this scene incredibly disturbing and I’m annoyed at myself for having investigated it.)

conked out

Originally uploaded by alibee09

When we got back to our cars (I totally went all out and sprinted up the hill on the way back and was feeling great about myself until Derek showed up, riding circles around me… damn competitive bikers being in shape and stuff!) we found that one of B’s rear windows had been broken out. Since the door was still locked, and my car behind him was totally unscathed, we think that a projectile from the freeway was responsible, but it was still a bit of a bummer. So, we all drove the cars back to our house, dropped his off, piled in mine, and headed out for a late lunch and some froyo for the kiddos. Then it was back home, where we played more, and had fun with Grammy and Grandpa, and had delicious fish tacos for dinner.

Katie and Max LOVE Derek and Aubrey. It makes me ridiculously happy when my kids feel comfortable and affectionate towards people who I also love and feel comfortable and affectionate towards, mainly because it means those people get to see the side of my kids that I do. Katie and Max also LOVE my parents. So last night was weird in that… they were happy being held by other people, and I almost (not quite) enjoyed a meal without someone in my lap!


I am so happy to be my kids’ mom. They’re the best thing I ever did… well, besides marrying the pretty awesome guy who helped make ’em. :D

sunday’s ride

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Brandon and I were supposed to go on a family ride this weekend, when he suspiciously came down with strep throat. We needed to get his meds on Sunday morning, so I took the opportunity to ride down to the pharmacy to get them.

On the way down, I was thinking, “WEEEEEEEeeewait… wait a second… this is suspiciously all downhill…” So yeah, getting there? No problem at all. 1.9 miles of enjoyableness.

On the ride back, I started out and made it about a half mile before I had to stop. Then another half mile and I had to actually get off and walk a little bit. Talked to a neighbor, hopped on for the last half and rode home.

Number of times I texted Brandon “Holy shit gonna die”: 1.
Number of times I thought I would vomit my teeth out: 2.
Number of times I realized I’m in horrible shape: 5378954748512
Number of times I was like, “WHY THE HELL CAN’T I GET MY FOOT BACK IN THE CLIP?!?”: 2.


Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

I took my new bike on a ride yesterday and have the following notes. Please keep in mind that I’ve been riding a mountain bike almost exclusively for the last 15 years:

– Wow, those wheels are fairly wobbly.
– WTF IS THIS BUSINESS OF HITTING YOUR FOOT WITH THE WHEEL WHEN YOU TURN and your foot is still in the frickin’ pedal?!
– Up hills: omggoingtodietoohard! Down hills: omggoingtodietoofast!
– I am insanely out of shape.
– We live near a Buddhist temple??

We’re going on a family ride on Sunday. Happily, Brandon will be trailing the kids so I can concentrate on not dying or running into anything or falling over.

My new ride: Trek Madrone 3.1

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

My new ride: Trek Madrone

Originally uploaded by alibee09

Belize: dive sites

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Here are the sites we dove in Belize:

Off Turneffe Caye:
Amberhead South (some people also did North)
Coral Gardens

Off Half Moon Caye:
Lighthouse Reef
Tarpon Caves
Dolphin Pass

Off Long Caye:
Quebrada (my fave dive — I spotted an octopus IN THE DAYTIME!)
Long Caye Wall

It’s kind of boring to hear about dives so I’ll just say that holy cow, the reefs are PACKED in Belize. Here are pics taken by others on the boat:
From Wilbur
From Bob

You can see just how absolutely gorgeous is was there. We did one night dive but … eh. I do NOT enjoy night diving, partially because it scares the crap out of me — imagine floating there, blindly, having very little idea where you are because you can’t really use visual markers. The fact that a huge tarpon was following us around making its creepy tarpon noise and then eating anything we shined a flashlight on did not help the situation.

So, diving in Belize? Two thumbs up from this girl.

Belize, day #2 (01/20/08)

Friday, February 1st, 2008

When we woke up on Sunday morning, normally we’d be getting ready to dive somewhere off one of the Cayes. Instead, we were still at port in Old Belize because our Tyndall cohorts hadn’t arrived yet. (Like I mentioned, they severely outnumbered us 11 to 3, so it made sense for us to stay in port waiting for them.) Brandon and I decided to get off the boat and trudge around the pier for a little while.

Old Belize consists of a pier with a TON of boats, a small museum, a gift shop, and a restaurant. Connected to the restaurant is a man-made beach called (and I don’t understand this at all) “Cucumber Beach”, which has a zipline, a conch-shell auditorium, a big slide, and a very confusing thing that should obviously be filled with water and then apparently gives people something to swim around. I don’t know, I didn’t get a picture of it because I believe that the people of Belize have a Greater Plan that involves this magical lagoon and I don’t think that it should be posted about on the internet until all of their wonders have fully evolved.

Check out that auditorium in the back.

On our way to Old Belize we met a couple who were living in a motor home and who had driven down from California. The husband flew helicopters and the woman took advantage of Cucumber Beach’s ample free WiFi to work remotely. They had brought their tripod dog along with them, and then soon met quite a few of Belize’s plethora of homeless dogs on the pier, who they helped feed. (I pet two of the homeless ones and the tripod as we stood there and talked.) They were sort of confused about what the Nekton was there for, so we filled them in (diving, mon!) and then headed our way.

So we walked over to the museum to learn about OLD Belize. Here is what I learned:
– I can thank the people of Belize for birth control (THANK YOU, people of Belize)
– Mayans were into fire and skulls, and were also very, very short
– there is a chicle “guy”
– old Belizian churches played “Amazing Grace” on constant repeat. CONSTANT.

I’m stunned by the fire and skulls.

Now, Jeff came over to Old Belize with us from the boat, but at this point he had disappeared (perhaps as a result of the chicle guy?) so after yelling around after him in the gift shop (the museum was nice enough to empty into said shop) we walked back through the starting sprinkle to the boat.

A word about the boat: the Nekton Pilot is not a normal-looking vessel. It uses Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) technology, which means that it is actually more stable than a boat with a single hull. It was the 32nd boat of its type to be built and the first that was custom-built to serve as a live-aboard. The dive deck actually moves up and down depending on the conditions and whether or not people are using it at the time. I don’t think I would have survived on a normal live-aboard :D

SWATH Technology!

Anyway, around 2ish the Tyndall group, in all of their finery, finally showed up and we spent lunchtime driving out to our first dive site.

Belize, day #1 (01/19/08)

Monday, January 28th, 2008

I am back from Belize! I have an awesome external ear infection to show for my diving, but it was TOTALLY worth it.

We left on a 6am flight last Saturday, stopping over in DFW on our way to Belize City. When we arrived, our driver Paul was there waiting to meet us, with Alison (who was starting a one-week trial run on the ship with us) and Jeff (from Florida). We drove into Belize City, and I pestered Paul with a lot of questions about what we were seeing on the way (for example, all the banners for PUP/UDP were for the upcoming election between the People’s United Party and the United Democratic Party), and were dropped off at the Princess Hotel while our luggage was bussed to the ship (with Alison) so we could eat dinner and poke around (food didn’t start on the boat until the next morning).

I can’t say that I was impressed at ALL with the Princess. Beyond being incredibly run-down, I didn’t really want to gamble in their casino and a walk of the grounds proved uninspirational at best, so we three sat down at the bar to wait until the dining room opened. When we asked after the local beers, all three of us asked for Belikin stouts, and the bartender actually asked us if we were sure. We were… and YUM, is that a tasty local brew. After two of them we were all feeling mightily pleased with ourselves and had dinner, a buffet of BBQ meats.

I don’t know what it is that people in Belize do to their chicken when they cook it, but man, all the chicken I had there was fall-off-the-bone tender. It was awesome.

After dinner, Paul picked us up and drove us to Save-U, a local supermarket. The boat we were staying on, the Nekton Pilot, follows strict DAN guidelines about diving and thus doesn’t provide carbonated or alcoholic beverages on board. However, you can bring your own (although your first alcoholic drink of the day means you’ve already had your last dive of that day), so I stopped a couple in the market and asked them to tell me what they thought was better: 1 Barrel or 5 Barrel aged rums. “1 Barrel gets you higher,” he laughed to me and his girlfriend. Thus, the decision was made. (We also bought a couple of 2 liters of Coke Light for good measure.)

When we got to the Pilot, we all jumped out immediately and started meeting the crew. It turned out that 11 more people were scheduled to be on our ship for the week, but thanks to Continental being awesome with the foresight (they somehow failed to notice that one of the tires on the plane was getting worn, and then the next day it turned up flat in Houston, but they had to fly in both a new tire and a crew to change it) the entire group (who were together — The Tyndall Dive Club from Florida) had to stay overnight. So, we couldn’t go out to sea that night. Jeff proceeded to get drunk and B and I went to sleep.

now i’m an unbeliever

Friday, October 12th, 2007

B and I are going to Belize next year on a diving trip that looks like it’s gonna kick ass — manta rays and whale sharks, oh my! Also, we could possibly go to a black howler monkey rescue (and make Andrew and Kristin v jealous) or fishing (something which we did very well at in Fiji). Plus, we get FIVE DIVES A DAY HOLY CRAP.

And, since we’ll be on a live-aboard, we don’t have to worry about getting left behind a la Open Water. :D

In other news, I feel like crap and want to fall through the ground pls.


Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

My ideal way to spend a weekend: ride motorcycles to a warmish (that is, not requiring my drysuit) body of water and diving both days, then driving motorcycles back. Having puppies somewhere nearby, and friends, and a bbq.

First problem with said ideal: there’s really no way to get that much gear to any location via bike.

Although… I think I could figure it out if I really tried. Who’s with me?


Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

The rescue diving pool session last night was hard. It included 32 lengths of the pool, two attempted drownings on me by the instructor (’cause he’s funny), and the lesson that Alison cannot hold her breath for longer than 40 seconds.

I am tired and would like a nap please.

Also: I took a shower, obviously, but I still smell like chlorine. Hot.

you steal my shadow, you make my blood run dry

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

Something that I’ve noticed about short weeks is that you don’t get the ramp-up before things go headfirst to hell; instead, you show up Wednesday to find that everything around you is f’d up. The good side, however, is that I’m still so rested from the fun shenanigans of the weekend that I’m more amused than irritated right now.

I’m not expecting that to last long, but whatcha gonna do?

Brandon and I were hoping to take a rescue diver class starting tomorrow but it looks like there’s too much of a conflict with our honeymoon. This makes me hope/pray that nothing bad happens to either of us on the trip that this class could have avoided… or hope that whoever we dive with is hot, should I need CPR.

‘Cause we all know you only wanna get CPR from someone hot.