2014 Year-End Review

I guess it’s time to do the year-end wrap-up thing. It definitely feels weird, because the year isn’t quite over and I’m still pregnant so my biggest (har har) project is still unfinished, but maybe if I go ahead and post this I’ll go into labor, right?

Last year’s goals were to ride Twenty Mule Team 100, Washoe Lake, and the Nevada Triple Crown (Derby 50, NASTR 75, VC 100). I wanted to volunteer Nevada Moonshine and Tahoe Rim, and I wanted to run a 10k.

No plan survives contact with the enemy. But you know, in retrospect, I didn’t do too badly.

First: I ran that 10k.2014 resolution 2Mel ran the 10 miler – she finished in about the same time it took me to “run” 6.2 miles, but whatever. It was a beautiful day and running endorphins are gooooood.2014 resolution run

In February, Miss Dixie and I headed down to Ridgecrest and finished Twenty Mule Team 100. It’s still the most amazing thing I’ve ever done (maybe “giving birth” or “being a parent” will be more amazing but I wouldn’t know because I’m still pregnant, grrrrrrr) and I still think about that day several times a week. Kaity and Jaya, I’m honored to have shared the trail with you both!

In March, I gave Dixie some well-deserved time off and got a small, tasteful tattoo to memorialize our achievement.desert tolkeinOk, it’s huge and gaudy and takes up my entire calf. I don’t care. I feel like the size of the tattoo is commensurate with the effort involved.

I kept running, too, upping my longest run to 9 miles. 2014 Canyon Meadow 2April was when my endurance season was kicking off for real. We started off the month at the Nevada Derby. The Derby was one of my yearly goals, but it turned out to be a substitution, too — I’d been really hopeful that I’d get to ride the Washoe Lake ride, but the ride ended up not happening. Instead, the Derby got moved from Palomino Valley, north of Reno, down to Washoe Lake south of Reno. They used pretty much the same trails, so I got to ride Washoe Lake anyway! Good enough.

The next weekend, I lazed about, drinking and having sex and sleeping late. As one does. The weekend after that, I ran 14 miles. I did a 10k run to get a t-shirt and then paced Mel on her first ultra. We didn’t precisely run the last 8 miles, but we maintained steady forward progress, and we finished, woo!2014 aprilDude. Look how hot I was. Look how skinny I was.

The weekend after that, I felt rather peculiar and discovered that I was with child.IMG_1841-2However, earlier that year, Mel and I had hatched a plan to do the 2014 World Championship Ride’n’Tie Long Course. All you had to do was finish to get a completely bomb-ass silver buckle! And Mel’s an ultramarathoner, and Farley is a short horse, and I wouldn’t even be very pregnant by then, so of course I couldn’t back out and let Mel find a more competent partner. Of the three of us, only Mel had ever done a ride’n’tie before, so we met up at the end of April and had a short practice session. Farley was an angel.

In June, I was still hardly pregnant at all, so I went off and rode a day at Wild West. It’s a ride I’ve been meaning to do for years now, and I knew I’d want the memories to tide me over til 2015, and Dixie was certainly in good shape. Turned out she was in such good shape that we did the 50 (and it’s not an easy or short 50!) in just under 8 hours. A really fun day, and such a rush to ride such a fit, forward horse.

I’d originally hoped to Do Something at the Nevada Moonshine ride, but sadly, it got cancelled due to base camp problems.

In July, Mel and Farley and I did the R’n’T championships. We were pitiful in all ways, except that we did finish and we weren’t even dead last. Almost all pitifulness was due to me — I thought it would be a good idea to wear shorts, so I got a huge and gnarly calf rub in the first 14 miles, and then I started to overheat and just couldn’t run anymore, so Mel had to run twice as much to make up for me. I mean, I did my fair share of hiking, but I was going half as fast as Mel so she just ended up doing more miles. But we didn’t piss off our phenomenal crew (<3 Lucy and Aurora 4 ever) or each other, and the buckles were totally, totally worth it.buckles grinsI wanted to do one more 50 at Gold Country, but my leg was not at all healed enough to ride on. I still have a huge scar where the rub was — I suppose it’s cheaper than getting another tattoo. Scars are souvenirs you never lose.

My big adventures in August were crewing Tevis, crewing Mel’s first 50-mile-no-horse-involved-ultramarathon, and volunteering at Tahoe Rim.

I did not realize until just now that I never got around to posting a Tevis crew story. TL;DR: I split my time in the Sierras between volunteering for the webcast again and crewing for Lucy. The benefit of voluncrewing, especially while pregnant, is that no one person expects all that much of you and you get a good amount of time to nap and snack. I saw old friends and made new friends. I talked to living legends and crazy people. I really needed those naps, because I didn’t actually get to sleep for more than four hours at a time. It was stressful and wonderful, and I can’t wait to do it again, either the long way down the trail or the even longer way driving the crew road.2014 TevisJaya and Asali, on their way to their second hundred of the year! 2014 Tevis 3Lucy’s crew, aka Team Lurgy, hard at work at Foresthill.2014 Tevis 2I got a new truck. It doesn’t make mysterious, terrible noises, and it has a step.

I still love Tahoe Rim the best of all the 50s, and I’m really hoping I get to ride it next year. Either way, me and The Kid will be back at base camp — I just hope the usual endurance stars align and I’ve got a fit, sound horse ready to ride then, too.

And I may have my sights on a trail marathon out at Golden Gate next year. Me, the one who swore up and down I’d never run that far without a horse. (But the Golden Gate hills are so pretty! And it’s cold and foggy, so I won’t overheat! And I have to run marathons so I can pace Mel when she runs Western States in a couple years!)

In September, I crewed Virginia City for Lucy. It was extremely bittersweet — riding VC was the only goal that I just couldn’t achieve this year, and it really hurt. Don’t misunderstand, I’m delighted to (almost! soon!) get to be a mom, and I can’t think of a better reason to miss VC… but I really wanted to come back and conquer the ride this year, and I just couldn’t.

VC fell smack-dab in the middle of the “my grass is so emo it cuts itself” second trimester. Everything sucked, and I felt terrible, but I didn’t even look very pregnant so I felt like I didn’t deserve to feel as terrible as I did, and people were mean and I cried the whole time. I could look back now and be mad or feel silly about all the crying and whining, but what’s the point? My feelings were legitimately hurt and things sucked and my rider didn’t even finish!

October was boring and emo. I finally started to look pregnant, at least.2014 octoberAnd I kept riding til the last week in October, when I realized I wasn’t flexible enough to ride (or fall) properly. Sigh.2014 october 2I can’t possibly be serious and do those silly Pinterest things with chalkboards and heart-shaped hands on my belly, but I can make skeptical faces in the produce department.

Finally, in November, all the good hormones started kicking in. The uncontrollable weeping and black moods and furious raging have been slowly fading away for the last two months, and I’m usually pretty zen and incredibly sleepy. And huge. And awkward.34 weeksI can’t breathe very well, and I have horrendously bad acid reflux for no less than 12 hours a day, and my poor feet have swollen to hobbit-like proportions, but I don’t really mind any of these things. It’s really cool feeling my baby moving around, and I really can’t wait to meet him, and every day now I inform him that he can come out any time he’d like.2014 dec 2“Grown locally.”

Dixie has been amazing. She knows I’m pregnant, and she’s so sweet and gentle with me. What with the never-ending rain, she’s not getting out often enough, even just to stretch her legs in the arena, but she is really calm whenever I do manage to handle her. I try to go out every other day, even if it’s just to groom her and scratch her itchy spots for half an hour, and she’s never pushy or spooky.

I never talk about my husband on here, by his choice, but I have to tell you guys how amazing he’s been, too. He’s totally supportive. He’s far nicer to me than I probably deserve, and he’s going to be an outstanding dad.2014 DecI have absolutely got to get my hair cut.

Anyway, that’s all the retrospective warm fuzzies I can muster. Forward!

2015 Goals:

  • Have baby (any day now would be fine. Tomorrow is good, little guy. I don’t even care if you want to come out on Christmas.)
  • Go to AERC convention with adorable and “easy” baby and husband in tow. Show off baby to Reno, out of town friends.
  • Get back to running. Run at least a half marathon, preferably a marathon at Golden Gate.
  • Do Tevis — webcast volunteer slash half-ass crew again? Maybe possibly if everything is perfect, ride?
  • Ride Tahoe Rim 50 and Virginia City 100.
  • Do not drop baby, especially on his head.
  • Write more.

Anything else is bonus.

I can’t complain

No, really, I can’t.

Last week one of my friends (who’s currently pregnant too) posted on Facebook “Oh, dammit, it’s time for [X common pregnancy complaint] again. What’s your least favorite thing about being pregnant?”

I immediately thought “Heartburn! No, wait, it’s the daily irrational sobbing hour! … Fuck, wait, you can’t possibly complain about anything, Funder.” And I didn’t. I just can’t.

It’s a perfectly average pregnancy. All those weird symptoms have passed me by. I have the best, most supportive husband in the world. We have great health insurance (for the US; shut up about your glorious socialized medicine, queen-havers) and I don’t think you could ask for a better place to have a crunchy hippie birth with high-tech backup than Berkeley, CA. And we want the little dude, very much. We can’t wait to meet him. I tried to get pregnant for years; I can’t take this for granted in any way. I’m so grateful, every day; how can I possibly whine about how it’d be nice to sleep a little better? (Last night’s bizarro dream: crazy lesbian sex, then I had to be induced to deliver my puppy. MY AFGHAN PUPPY. I don’t even.)

With that said, I can’t believe the things some people say to me. (Half the time, I can’t believe what comes out of my mouth when I’m talking to other people, so I have a lot of sympathy mixed in with the disbelief, but still.) People get downright gleeful telling me poop explosion stories, or daylong crying fit stories, or how they worked 50 hours a week during their whole pregnancy. I don’t know how I’m supposed to respond. I am, in fact, aware that babies cry, refuse to sleep for more than an hour at a time, and poop everywhere. And I know how lucky I am to not be puking every day, or working every day, or getting beat by a worthless baby daddy. How do you want me to respond? Congrats, you win at sucking? Why did you even ask me how I’m feeling if you’re just going to point out how much worse you had it?

So yeah, I can’t complain.

And here’s the other thing I Don’t Talk About: I totally love feeling the baby move. I am constantly shocked at how many people are totally squicked out by the thought of being pregnant / feeling the baby move, but it’s awesome, and it completely makes up for all the irritations of pregnancy that I dare not complain about. The very early part was weird — just little jerks and bumps, barely perceptible — but by now I can feel his little wiggly fingers and kicky feet, and it’s amazing.

Anyway. I’m at 35 weeks (out of 40). I haven’t run in maybe ten weeks, and I haven’t ridden my poor horse in five, and I’m really looking forward to doing both of those things. I am so full of baby hormones I feel kinda stoned — I make stupid faces at pictures of babies, what? Another month, give or take, and I get to make stupid faces at my very own baby!

Here’s last week’s “your baby is the size of” photo. (We’ve since surpassed cantaloupe and moved on to honeydew, but you can just imagine everything 5% larger.)

34 weeks