17 April 2006 Today, I kicked up the gears by one. Instead of biking at 2-5, I used 2-6. Itís a bit tougher, but faster. I think Iíll use that for the next while on my short ride days. On the long ride days, I need it to still be as easy as possible, without it being slow as molasses. LOL!
18 April 2006 Seven months to Tour de Tucson. The weather is definitely warming up. I am not looking forward to the coming days, in that regard. I am using the higher gears more often. I tell myself it gets me out of the heat that much sooner. LOL! Oh, the mind games! I no longer struggle with the idea of biking 23 miles on Tuesdays and Thursdays; after all, Iíve been doing it every week (with a few exceptions) since last October.
19 April 2006 Very introspective entry ahead. Iíve not been getting much sleep of late, and I have found that in my life when this happens I am being pushed for a reason. God wants me to reach a little deeper. The night before last, MissB had an accident, at 2:30am. I woke immediately to the smell, and was able to get her outside quickly with only her tail getting a little messy. I started her laundry and sprayed her tail clean without any complaint from her. She was blessedly cooperative. But I was calm and unconcerned. It took only a half hour to take care of, and through it all, I didnít get angry, frustrated, worried, or even sad. I simply reminded myself that ďgrowing old ainít for sissies.Ē A very good change. I also came to another realization this morning: I can do this race. I woke with a blinding headache and pain from my hip to my toes, but work had to be picked up. I allowed myself an easy ride by only biking nine miles. Dog still needed to be walked and physical therapy helps ease some of the discomfort. All I have to do is do what Iíve always done, close my mind to the pain and do what must be done. So the training is not about getting myself to go the 100 miles; the training is about getting it done in the allotted time without an accident. Falling is not an option; the back canít take it.. The race starts at 7am and ends at 5pm. Iíll be working on stamina and increasing my pace.
20 April 2006 MissB is struggling today. Her right hind leg (severe arthritis) is having increasing trouble supporting her and the left hind is having trouble doing all the work as it has arthritis as well. I should have known that after the peace of last night something was coming. MissB kept me up in the middle of the night with going out side and in and out and in and out and in. Then she decided she was hungry. This kind of stuff at 1am used to infuriate me. Last night, I took it all in stride without any anger with her at all. I am not my fatherís or my motherís daughter. I have learned to choose differently from what I was taught. Progress. More progress: For the first time, I have accepted that I may need to call the vet. All I can do now is pray I have the courage and that God will at least have mercy enough to help MissB not be frightened. But I donít have to call today.
21 April 2006 What will I do without my beloved protector? I canít think about it. Iím having to face a great deal right now. When I dropped off work, today, K. noted that Iíve lost quite a bit of weight, though only in the upper body. She admitted with a laugh that she couldnít tell with my lower body because of the baggy sweats I was wearing. I confessed I was wearing them as long as possible. At the questioning look she gave me, I told her I did not want my parents to know Iíd lost weight, for as long as possible. Self-preservation. Her brows raised. And I let slip how my mother has pushed diet down my throat since I was a little girl. She understood, completely. I can remember in high school, either my freshmen or sophomore year, I was 5í5Ē and 125 lb, and my parents and brothers would harass me about my weight and what I ate. My older sister is petite and has an enviable slight build, not to mention beautiful skin (which I do not have), the looks about which one reads in the romance novels. I, on the other hand, am tall, with shoulders as broad as my hips. I canít remember being petite. And definitely not willowy or any of those other lovely descriptions. I remind myself that God doesnít care about those things, so I try not to either, at least not much. Preparing meals has become an ordeal. If Iím home alone, I do quite well. But I canít prepare a meal now with my mom in the kitchen without her passing judgment as to whether or not it looks healthy. In truth, I canít eat anything with either of them around without one or both of them commenting on what Iím having. A slight variation on my challenge with this race: I will finish, but I need to train so I incur no further injuries. Iím feeling decidedly out of sorts.
22 April 2006 Itís been a blessedly quiet day. I really needed it. MissB and I had a talk, and I admitted that I was afraid I might not hear her if she asked to go home, simply because I donít want her to go. This time, I told her I would probably ask again, though she hates it when I do, but I needed to be sure I was listening. I also told her that if she wanted me to help her, I would call the vet and help her anyway I could. She seems to have rallied a bit. Mom left for a little while first thing this morning, so instead of going for a bike ride I cooked up some meat and rice for MissB, which she loved! No surprise there. LOL! Then I finished a book by one of my new favourite authors, Diane Perkins. My sister popped in for a visit, and what a blessing that was. I was able to tell her all the things worrying me. By early afternoon, I was cold and could no longer keep my eyes open, so I curled up on my bed for a brief nap. Iím still feeling a bit tired but peaceful.
23 April 2006 MissB seems determined to hang on for a while longer. Iím endeavoring to make it as comfortable and pleasant as possible. The folks are gone for the next few hours, so Iíll make her some meat and rice. Sheíll like that. Diane encouraged me to write one story all the way through, beginning, middle, and end. So Iíve started it. I think I have the facts I need, after a bit of research. Iím upped my physical therapy a little, just like I do every week, adding upper body exercises to improve my core muscle strength. Iím still feeling a bit ragged around the edges from the little turn MissB took this week, but I too am rallying. Iím a survivor, and blessedly, God has given me wonderful people to help see me through the difficulties and share the good in life.