Monday, January 31, 2011


One night this past November I walked into the garage to catch Jim on my new Jake the Snake. I had been fitted for the bike a few weeks prior at The Hub and quietly hoped he didnt move the seat. He didnt. I asked him " what he thought he was doing" He said " seeing what you are always smiling about". He later informed me that he was going to order himself one. I really wasnt sure, at that time, if he really would. I would catch him several more times after that, he even took it for some spins around the block. Well, finally the day came last week and IT came. I scheduled him a fitting with Gino and 3 days later IT came home. Jim quickly put on shoes and a helmet and rode IT around the block, about 1/2 mile. He returned with a huge smile and said " I know why you smile".

As of yesterday I have put 800 miles on " FELIX" , my JTS. Not bad for the past 3 months. I enjoyed all of my 'getting to know you rides' and now feel very comfortable on it. In fact, comfortable enough that I plan on doing the DK200 on it. I hope to hit the gravel soon and gain some more gravel experience. I've been riding the road mostly and have found that I dont hate it like I did last year. Maybe there is a roadie inside me just dying to get out? Probably not, but I am enjoying the road and now understand why its important to mountain biking.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homemade Energy

I recently tried a homemade gel recipe. I think with a little tweaking it will work well. I found several recipes on the net and even stumbled across some you -tube videos that talk you through it. Dont get nervous. Its easy. There are other flavors I want to experiment with, today I will try vanilla. The basic recipe is: 7 TBSP of honey,1tsp of molasses and 1/8tsp of Sea Salt. Mix it in a bowl. I added 1 TBSP of water. Put it in my Hammer gel flask and went to ride 30 miles. The flask was almost full and I used all but one swallow. I really tried to watch the clock and take some in every 30 minutes. The flavor was honey mostly. When it gets warmer I would definitely add more sea salt. If you can find blackstrap molasses use that. It has more magnesium which helps produce and transport energy to your muscles. That is a good thing. Another recipe I found used brown rice syrup. Use 60% brown rice syrup to 40 % honey and 1 tsp sea salt. I havent located this syrup yet but plan to try it. There was also a recipe to add caffeine with instant coffee. I am not so sure about this one. I like coffee, but not sure how this will taste. The ingredients I used cost me about 6 dollars. I bet I will have plenty of sea salt and molasses for most of the season, since those two ingredients are used sparingly. I will definitely buy a larger honey next time. This container has 18 TBSP, so enough for 3 full flasks. With gels/gu costing about $1.50 a piece I can tell I am going to be saving some serious money . Now , if only I can get Jim to try it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Putting it out there

I know. My jaw drops every time I see a picture form my past. I am the blonde! This pic is from 2005. Most of you dont know this, but I wasnt always ME. The ME you know. I was hidden under a lot of extra weight. This picture was given to me at a family function last week. Why? I thought I gotten rid of all my fat pictures and had instructed my family to destroy any they had. My sister never listens. When she handed it to me she said " remember this person?"I said "Bitch", and I meant her.

My mom has always said " Dont ever forget where you came from". I now understand that and am a firm believer in the statement. When I see this picture I experience many different feelings, at the same time. I feel embarrassed ,depressed, and angry that I ever let myself get that way. After that passes I feel proud, happy,healthy and successful. I am not that person any more. If you had told 'that' girl she would be a mountain biker and an endurance racer she would have laughed at you, raised a Budweiser and blew smoke in your face. Yes I am an ex-smoker, 6 years and counting.

Everyone has a starting point. This was mine. I never looked in the mirror so I really didnt see this. I wore size 18-20 pants and shared my husbands XL shirts. It was a very unhappy time in my life that lasted about 7 years. I had gone from running marathons to running to the fridge. Long story a bit shorter, I got hurt at work and busted an ankle. After surgery I was told I would never run again. I became depressed immediately. I ate a lot , felt sorry for myself, and became an angry monster. I made those around me just as miserable. Poor Jim . When he married me I was 125 and a size 5. I am very lucky he stuck by me. It is not any easy task to lose weight and it did not happen over night for me. If it was easy obesity would not exist. First, I had to change my mind . I had to relearn that I was worth it, deserved it, and wanted it all. Baby steps.... I made lifestyle changes, no diets. The book "The Body for Life" was an important tool for my success.

I have several reasons for posting this. Sometimes you have to look back before you can move forward. I am stepping out of my comfort zone this year and find it helpful to remember where I started. I am glad this pic made its way back to me. I will keep it as a reminder . A reminder that hard work is always rewarded. I would suggest that if you are going on a journey yourself, take pictures, keep them and look at them often.

My main motivation to stay healthy is my family . I want to be the mom that my kids are proud of.. The wife that Jim deserves. And , when the time comes, the grandparent that goes mountain biking and backpacking with their grandkids. My secondary motivating factor is the goals I have set for myself this year. There is no way I can achieve them if I am not healthy.
I also hope to provide inspiration for those who need it. I want to be a personal trainer in 2012. I want to show people that if I can do it they can do it. I know those are just words, but when you back them up with action they equal success. I hit the reset button at age 38. It is never too late to change. This year I will be 42 , Healthy , Happy, and riding my bikes. Bring it 2011.

Dirty Kanza

In case you havent heard.... Jim and I are IN for I believe: 1. That knowledge is power.2. You cant ask enough questions when you are taking on the unknown. And 3. There are no stupid questions.Most cyclists are happy to share secrets, stuff not to do,gear choices, and answer just general questions. Since I am definitely out of my comfort zone on this one I plan on doing a lot of research. I will share everything I learn as a way of paying it forward. I am confident that I will get by with a little help from friends.

There are many blogs out there about the DK that have useful info. Here are a couple: and That is just a few to get you started. The last one is by last years winning chica. FYI, only 2 women finished. Intriguing.

I am excited that there are going to be lots of friends at this race/ride also. There is comfort in numbers. Plus, it will be Jims birthday. I cant believe he is up for this kind of torture on this of all days, but can you imagine the reward he will feel afterwards?

I just returned form the store with ingredients to make my own gel/gu. I do not care for what is out there now and find it expensive. Being the off season its the perfect time to try new things. The recipes I found were online. After I try them I will post them and let you know how it went. The flavors are endless and its much cheaper. As I think about it, if more people made their own there would not be so much trash on the trails. Plus, its fresh and you know exactly what is in it.

I am off to work on my core now, until next time....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thanks, I THINK

This morning my husband handed me a cup of coffee and said "check your email". I said " I will". He said " NOW". I figured I missed something big since I took an internet 'off day' to catch up on some things around the house. Jim told me to open the email sent from him. Basically it said that I had been entered in THE SYLLAMO REVENGE 50 miler. WTF? I did not sign up for this. Was this some kind of joke? Was I even awake yet?

I had decided what races I wanted to do this season and this race was in the dream category. Endurance events cost a lot and even more if you have to travel. This race is almost 7 hours away, so I decided to let this one go and stay closer to home. I know that my teammates love this race and I had hoped to join them one day. Looks like I get to join them this year! I have heard how difficult this ride is from several sources. I am kinda intimidated. When I did the 24hr of Syllamo we did laps. After the climb we took the trail on the left. It was beautiful single-track and flowed nicely. I have been on the trail to the right, on accident, the day before the 24 when we did some exploring . I remember thinking "how am I supposed to ride this over and over, and in the dark". Luckily , we were on the wrong trail. I am looking forward to this! Got some work to do. And maybe next year I can tackle the 125k. Hmmm... What gear to run? I cant wait to tell Connor.

Monday, January 10, 2011


This sign was posted on Friday. Wanted to share the numbers with you. I have a warm fuzzy knowing that so many tummies will be full because of a lot of jerks who braved the cold and may or may not have rode bikes. Thanks again

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Even JERKS have a heart

And it turns out a very big heart. If you were one of the lucky hundred or so to be at the CXMAS race that didnt exist you had an opportunity to donate some canned goods to The St. Louis Foodbank. One person donated 20 cans and could not even attend the non event.( thanks Scott) Another met me the day of delivery to hand me a bag full. ( thanks Justin) On Dec. 21st I took 300 cans to my daughters preschool, which were picked up by the Foodbank truck later that day. This was no easy task since 300 cans are not easy to transport. Luckily, the school is only 2.5 miles away and only a few cans got loose. One of the schools assistants helped me drag them in by using wagons. It took several wagon trips. We were able to fill 2 huge red trash cans with some spill over into a box. I had taken pictures , but our computer had an issue and the pics were deleted. Sorry about that.

This canned food drive gave Jim and I the opportunity to explain some things to Sydney. The fact that not everyone has food was hard to explain. At the same time they were doing a toy drive. We had to explain that some families did not have the money for toys but we were going to help them. She wanted to empty our pantry and give some of her own toys away . At almost 5 , I think she got it. We are so blessed to have what we do. And I believe that if you can share your own good fortune you should. Karma baby. It always comes around doesnt it?

At Christmas time Jim and I did things a little different when gifting to our parents. They already have everything. So, Jim gave his parents 2 cases of canned soup to donate to a food pantry in Louisiana MO. I gave $$ in my parents name to help bring fresh water to a school in Bangladesh for a year. I would say those were much better gifts than another candle or ugly sweater, wouldnt you?

On that note, Happy New Year and I hope 2011 will be everything you want it to be.