Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mamma's Pride

On Sept. 13th 1988, my son Trevor was born. He has been my hero and inspiration since he took his first breath. Trev was born missing tibia bones in both of his legs. No one knows why, "an act of God" they said. He received both surgery and magnificent care at Shriner's Hospital right here in St. Louis MO. At 13 months old he had an 8 hour surgery to amputate both of his legs above the knee. Since then, he has definitely endured his share of challenges, but nothing ever stopped him from trying new things. In high school he tried out for the wrestling team. He had a rough start with 8 straight losses in his sophomore year. He did not quit. He worked very hard in the off season to figure wrestling out.

His Junior year was quite successful, 28-15 and he took a trip to State. His senior year was off the charts. He broke Marquette high school's win record with 44 wins to 5 losses. He took 2nd in state, losing 1-0 on an escape point. He also earned a National Championship at Liberty. {Scroll to the third pic. He was also voted Most Valuable Wrestler at Liberty . (two absolutely massive trophies we had to tie down in the back of the truck on the way home from KC).{ He is in the second picture} } He also won a National Sportsmanship award in 2007.

Fast forward a few years...... Trevor continues to work out by going to the gym on a near-daily basis. As you can see his arms are amazing. He weighs about 125 while doing 215 lb lat pull-downs and bench-pressing 360lbs 5x

But, his legs are AWESOME. Trevor went to Oklahoma City to see what the Hanger Prosthetic and Orthotic's company could do for him. They taught him how to walk more efficiently, using less energy and causing less impact on his lower back. Also, he can now walk up and down stairs step-over-step without using a handrail. On his last day in OKC he signed a sponsorship contract to compete for Hanger. He was given a set of 'runners legs' while he was there and was trained on how to use them.

The past few nights he has gone on runs in the neighborhood and given the dreadmill a whirl. He ran an 8 minute mile last night. I could not do that even with something was chasing me. He has his first race in June and a 12 miler in Oct in California. I look forward to running with him, more than likely behind him, on the trails soon. Needless to say, It has been a great month at my house.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Week TWO of Twelve

Training this week was a challenge. My sitter was out of town and Mother Nature threw her weight around, dishing out rain, snow and incredible wind. I started a boot camp that kicked my a$$. And making the Flight Crew distracted me a bit. You know how it is making travel arrangements and signing your life away to the devil.

Mon- Boot camp 1hour, Bike 7miles, walk3

Tues- Bike 4.2 with Sydney

Wed- Boot camp 1hour, Bike 6 miles to and from, Bike 8.5 { wind 30-40 mph }

Thur- Trainer 25 miles

Fri- Boot camp 1hour, Trainer 23 miles

Sat- Trainer 20miles

Sun- off- Wanted to do Boot camp with fresh legs on Mon

This looks more like a Rest week to me. With the addition of the Boot camp, it did not feel like one. All in all I rode for 7 hours and covered roughly 104 miles. I can only hope that the weather is better and I can give Luthor, the trainer a break this week. Dirty Kanza is in 10 weeks, 70 days, plenty of time to make up for this week. It would be nice to hit the trails at some point too.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Wait for it

"Some people follow their dreams, others chase them down and beat them into submission." Not sure who said that, but they hit the nail on the head. I consider myself an OTHER. None of this 'craziness' has come easily. My first ride , at age 37, ended with a trip to the ER and a broken elbow. While licking my wounds, for four months, I had an epiphany. During that short 1 1/2 mile ride I fell in love! Not with the bike I was riding, but with the feeling of riding a bike. I felt incredibly FREE. I was not a mom , not a wife. { I love being a mom and a wife } I was ME?! Mountain biking has changed my life and made me a better human along the way. I also realized I wanted to become an amazing rider and ride for a 'cool' team. Words can't even describe how freakin' awesome my experience has been with Team Seagal. Those jerks are the best.

At the end of Feb., I saw an ad from Airborne Bicycles looking for 5-6 new Flight Crew members. " Now, that would be a 'cool' team to ride for" I thought. Airborne , out of Ohio, sells several kinds of bikes. Downhill, freeride and mountain bikes just to name a few. Follow this link and check out what they offer. The first bike that caught my attention was this one . The Goblin.

Picture of Goblin

I bet it would be an incredible single speed!

I decided that I was not going to sit back and wait for anything this year. So I went for it. I sent in my application telling them about me and why I ride. I gave them links to the trails I frequent and pointed them towards my blog. The fantasies began after I hit send.

I followed the banter on FaceBook and waited anxiously to hear when the final decision would be made. Two weeks passed. I heard nothing, nada. Airborne would post up they were still reviewing apps, that they had received so many good ones, and they would be narrowing down to 29. The waiting was torture. Their plan to send emails to those who did not make it failed when their server blew. Damn, I was feeling good about NOT getting an email. Finally, I got an email last Wed. night.

Basically, it said that they needed some more info and had to make sure I was not a serial killer . I informed them I had a long ride planned for Thurs. and told them when they could contact me. They called at 9am and we talked briefly. Rick Vosper, Airbornes Director,handled most of the call while Jeremy Mudd and Eric McKenna listened in. Airborne had received several hundred responses and I was in the top 10! Yeah, seriously! They asked questions about me, Team Seagal, and why I ride. Rick said he would call me Friday to let me know either way. Are you kidding me? I had to wait one more day. Ugh! How was I supposed to sleep? Hell, I barely slept anticipating their first phone call. I started getting ready for my long ride and tried to forget about it . Yeah, right. That didnt work so well. I did have a great ride thinking of the possibilities. I may have been in shock. I told myself I should be happy to have even gotten a call. I should be satisfied with that. What Bullsh*t! I wanted this. I hoped my passion came through on the phone in case I failed in writing.

My phone rang at 4pm. It was Rick again. Had he forgotten to ask me something? He didnt beat around the bush. He said " Wendy, let me be the first to welcome to the Flight Crew". I told him I think I needed to scream. He told me to put the phone down and go for it. So, I did. I screamed . I think he was impressed with my lungs. He took my kit sizes and bike sizes and said he would be in touch.

Thank goodness I really like the Goblin, because ..... They are giving me one. Yes, GIVING. And , they said I can make it a single speed if I want. Just when I thought it couldnt get any better.... Airborne is taking the Flight Crew to ..... Sea Otter. Yes, boys and girls. I am going to California. I get the opportunity to meet and ride with some amazing cyclists for like 5 days. I am very stoked about this new gig. Don't worry, I will drag you along every step of the way. What a way to start the year, dontcha think? To think it all started with me laying in a ditch....." Look at me now Ma! I am on top of the world." I am AIRBORNE. One question. Should I race while I am there??? Get the deets here:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hairy Hermann

I was looking forward to doing this 72 mile gravel ride all week. What kind of person does that? The ride began at 9am and it was certainly 'hairy'. There was me, kinda hairy, and about a dozen guys, more hairy. The ride started easy enough but got harder. I am not at all familiar with the Hermann area. There are some challenging hills out there. Maybe I should investigate what type of gear set ups the others were running. I had the standard crossbike set up 36/46 and that proved difficult on some of the hills. I will also blame the wind. At any moment I felt like I was going to be blown off my bike. The gravel was also a little soft. I was not able to hang with the pack, but was very fortunate to get to ride with Stoney and Zack, from TRW, and a nice fella named Ralph.

Stoney and Zack were on single speeds and would complete 130 miles before the day was over. They are training for TransIowa and also the DK200. Super badasses!

I learned quite a bit on this ride. For instance, drinking out of a water bottle on gravel takes practice, it does heat up quick on gravel for lack of trees, your butt moves around a lot more on the saddle, and stay on top of fueling and hydration. Once you get behind its hard to fight out of it. The temp reached 81, was not expecting that since the weather man has been wrong so much lately. Perpeteum, water, jolly ranchers, fireballs, and Odwalla bars treated me well. So many other things to try before the 200 miler.

This was not a smell the roses ride so I only snapped a couple of pics. The scenery was beautiful and the people we saw were nice. One guy actually stopped, got out of his truck, and apologized about the shape the gravel was in. We were changing my flat, the only mechanical of the day. I picked up a teeny tiny metal sliver somewhere on the road. We had only 5 miles to go. Figures. And that tailwind we were promised really never showed up. Although, I will admit the ride back was easier. The gravel had dried considerably during the day. I am very happy with my result from this ride. I saved the maps to go do it again. Who's up for it?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Week 1 of 12

The first week of training is always the hardest right? This week Syd was on spring break ,she had a birthday, and we got snow. I do not stress about the obstacles, just find a way around them. This is how it shaped up.

Monday- Zone 1- trainer- 1 hour, no mileage

Tuesday- Zone 2- Road - 22 miles

Wednesday- Solid 1 hr of jumping, climbing and sliding at

Thursday- Zone 3/4- Katy Trail , 53 miles

Friday- Zone 1-trainer- 30 mins no mileage

Saturday- off

Sunday- Zone 3,4,and5- Gravel ride- 74 miles

Not a bad first week. Just over 14 hours of saddle time and 149 miles logged.
What did you do?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Picked up a hitchhiker today. After I put her in my jersey no one tried to cut me off or throw stuff at me. She may have to come on more of my road rides.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The first of MANY

It was highly recommended that I do a lactate threshold heart rate { LTHR} test to establish my training zones. I feel like I am learning a new language. It turns out that the old rule of "220- your age" is not always accurate. Mine was a little off, so I am glad I did this simple test. Basically you ride like hell for 30 minutes. After 10 minutes hit the lap button and finish the last 20 minutes. Your biking zones are based on the last 20 minutes. Lucky for me I have a 'self professed' numbers geek in my corner this year . I was able to send Jeff my Garmin link and he hooked me up with my numbers. I should probably be paying this guy huh?

I loaded Felix in Stella, the van, and took the 15 minute drive to Busch Wildlife. Busch has 3 separate loops to ride as well as many other off road options. There is low traffic, I only saw 5 cars, and sometimes you can score a beer from the fisherman. I did my 30 minutes and felt like I could puke afterwards. There are several hills and some challenging gravel. Many stretches that looked like this.

Since I was already there I did a couple laps of the A loop. I ended my day with 26 miles and lots of smiles.

I started using dailymile in November to track all my workouts and see what other athletes are doing. I even have friends in Alaska and Switzerland. I would call it a facebook for athletes. I recently added their training widget to my blog to help keep myself accountable. Go to to sign up. Its free!!

Damn, thats a great bike! A picture doesnt do it justice.

My first week of training may be a challenge. Sydney is on spring break and the weather looks awful. Just a couple obstacles to overcome. Thank goodness I have a Cyclops. I plan on doing this next weekend. You should too. I am looking to carpool so hit me up if your interested.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Well, not really. For the past 12 years my wonderful husband has given me gifts, but ALL of them early. For instance, I received my Christmas present in Oct. He just cant wait. I am not complaining, I am used to it. He gave me my birthday presents yesterday. My birthday is still a week out. He bought me Its perfect for a base layer and will be great protection from the sun. At $21 its a steal. My next gift was Bootcamp! I have been to Marla's Boot Camps before , she is the real deal. She helped me knock over 20 inches off. She has her clients keep food journals that she checks regularly and makes suggestions in. Marla showed me that I was not eating enough for my active lifestyle and made suggestions on better options to fuel myself. I look forward to her a$$ kicking class on 3/21 at 530 am. She may still have spots open, so check it out. You will not regret it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Doing the Dirty

Immediately after signing up for this:, I threw up in my mouth. What the hell was i thinking? Can I finish this? Why does 200 miles of gravel appeal to me? Am I crazy? Just to name a few. I do not sign up for races I dont think I can complete. Why did I sign up for this? Since then, I have been very busy dissecting this one and figuring out how to get to the finish line.

I started by gaining some knowledge by reading this I figure the more I know the better off I will be. Mr. Verstegen has written others, but I highly recommend this one if you go LONG. I also read Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes by Monique Ryan. There was a lot of info here, but nothing earth shattering .

I reached out to several members of the cycling community for advice and received a lot of useful info on training and nutrition. Would you believe that one elite cyclist drew up a 12 week plan specifically for me. It was perfect. Thanks Jeff. So, I have a plan. I feel somewhat prepared , yet nervous about all the other stuff I need to figure out. Such as tire choice, race day fuel and finding the perfect pack. I like this one , the Slipstream, yellow one. I am left wondering if it will be big enough. The new Osprey I bought is overkill and larger than I will need. Plus last year it reached 103 and I would like less on my back.

My weapon of choice will be my 2011 Jake The Snake, unless something ' crazy' happens. Kona sure knew what they were doing when they made this one. I have just over 1300 miles on this , since Nov, so you can tell how much I love it. I know it will not let me down and is quite comfortable for a cross bike. Besides , its only 200 miles right?

I am pumped to start my first official day of training on March 14th. Last year I just rode my bike, A lot. No certain distance or intensity , just A LOT. This year I feel comfortable with the more structured plan. It looks good on paper. I dont know what is more exciting for me though. The journey to get to the race or the race itself?

Make sure you check back and see how it goes. I plan on weekly reports of what did or did not work and how many hours / miles I have endured. Your comments and advice are welcome. I know there are others who may benefit from them too.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Death by Hills

As I watched the parking lot fill up with cyclists for the Death by Hills ride, all I could think about was how the hell am I gonna do this. I was drained and exhausted from having been on THE CLEAN diet for the past 6 days. Expect a blog about that soon. I was down 6 pounds and felt awful. My legs felt weak and heavy. I had no energy. Thanks a lot CLEAN.

Sunday was my first time on road tires. I was hoping to keep the rubber side down and just ride as long as I could. I found that not looking at the tires helped a lot. I also prayed for no flats since I could not even put the tire on. Fifty-six of us clipped in at 9am and off we went in a pack. I have never been in a pack and backed off. Once i got comfortable I moved closer to other wheels. I quickly understood the advantages of riding in the middle. But, it did feel like cheating somehow.

As the day went on I learned some "road etiquette " Cory, rocking that new pink kit, kept pointing out debris, potholes, and those grate things while we rode along. Can you imagine if mountain bikers did the same and pointed out roots and rocks? I also saw the "slowing "hand signal. I was able to ride in a pace line. That was cool. Now I get the drafting advantage.

I like riding hills, but found myself disappointed with these. I couldnt keep my front wheel on the ground, so there was no way I was going up any of them.I was in good company with Gina, Nicole, Cory, and some teammates so I wanted to keep going. I learned that I am a better climber on my single speed. Something funny... a couple of hills were quite hard and when I looked down I realized if I shifted out of the big ring it would get a lot easier.

I am very pleased with my 7 hour "legs on" approach to road biking. I got to ride with some strong women and finally caught up to Emily to finish the ride with her. Next year I hope to keep up with Mary, who I only saw for a brief moment. Entering the lot I was just under 65 miles , so I did a couple loops to even it out.

I want to ride that route again, several times. I want more .