Friday, January 27, 2012

What Is Hiding Inside You?

January is almost over.  How are you doing with your New Year's resolutions?  If you have resolved to get healthy and lose some weight, I applaud you.  I know exactly where you are coming from.
Below is a pic of the old me.

Me at 220lbs

I look happy in the picture.  Truthfully, I was miserable.
My life has changed so much since that photo was taken, about 2002. I did not lose the weight overnight.  Everyday I was a work in progress.  I started being active in 2006, after the birth of my daughter.  I never wanted her to know that woman in the picture.  I was very successful.  Upon seeing this picture she said " that is not my mommy".  She is correct.  My life as that girl ended when I decided to make some small changes.  I started paying attention to what I ate, portion size, and walked everyday.  The walking evolved into running, and eventually I started biking. 

I am stubborn by nature, so I was able to stay motivated and not let anyone get in my way.  I carved out time in my day to exercise.  I made my health a priority.  I wanted to be able to chase my little one at the park, run with her in the backyard, and be able to play with her without getting winded.  I did not want to sit on the sidelines and watch.  I wanted to be able to play. 

My favorite picture 

And play I did.  The picture above is from my first 12 hr race in 2009.  That woman on top of  the podium was inside me all the time.  I just had to lose 75lbs to find her.  I had many struggles, but I kept my eye on the prize.  The prize was being healthy, happy, and a good role model for my daughter.  

I want my story to encourage you to keep moving forward to a healthier lifestyle.  I also hope my story inspires you to find out "who is hiding inside of you ".  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Superior Sock Contest

You know you want me

Good day followers, friends and FaceBook fans.  Are you creative?  Need an attitude adjustment?  In need of some cool socks?  All of the above?  I have some Team Seagal socks up for grabs.   Keep reading...

Who: Any male or female residing in the USA

What:  Re-name my blog

Why:  Because it's time for a change

Where:  Post you suggestions on this blog post, on my FB page ( Wendy Davis ), or post on   APabstSmear FB page
When:  Entries accepted  January 24th until February 1st at midnight 

 How:  Leave me a comment with your title suggestion in any of the three designated spots for your chance to win


  You can enter as many times as you like.  Be creative.  Keep it clean , the entire world will see it. Remember it's a title, so make it short. 

 On Feb. 2nd I will post my top five picks on this blog.  A final decision will be made on Feb. 5th. The winner will be announced by 8pm on this blog, and on facebook.  
  You will receive one pair of socks for your winning submission.  I will either mail them or put them in your hands if you are local.  They look amazing in the photo, but even better when they are on. These socks come in small/medium and large/xtra large. If you have XXL feet, I will substitute the socks for something equally superior.

Any questions? 

Thanks for your help.  Feel free to share this post.  I am eager to see what you come up with.  

*** Blog content will not change

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Get Ready To Rumble DK2012

Kansas is beautiful

It is very difficult to plan for a race that is six months away.   Sitting at your computer, you are quite comfortable while typing in your info and parting with your hard earned money. Time is on your side.  You have time to train and get your gear together.  Many, many days to figure out how your ass is going to handle 203 miles of  gnarly gravel in Kansas.  I believe you have just enough time, IF you start immediately after signing up.  It is overwhelming to grasp how you will complete this task.  I know.   These ten things helped me:

1.  Have a plan.  In order to formulate a plan you will need to do some research. And by some I mean a ton.   Start by google-ing  double century training plans.  These will give you an idea of weekly mileage to shoot for.  Read blogs by those who have completed the race.  Read blogs by those who did not.   Another perspective.  My day. Gather as much information as you can.  Knowledge is power.

2.  Research your fuel.  There are a bazillion fueling options out there.  Train with your selection and make sure you can go the distance with it.   I passed a lot of dead bodies last year.  Your fuel will make or break your ride.   Last year it was 103 degrees. I would pick something that will endure the heat and not curdle in your belly.

3.  Test out any gear you will wear or use on the ride.  I picked out a white jersey to wear, very smart,  but ended up putting a black camelback on my back, not very smart.   Jim  outfitted his steed with a rack and carried a small cooler with water bottles in it.  It worked well for him.  He did not have to carry anything on his back, just in his jersey pockets. I can not stress this enough, You will need a LOT of water. Trust me, you don't want to run out.

4.  Ask an expert cyclist, female and male for tips.  If you have an opportunity to talk one on one, take it. Ask them anything and everything.  There are no dumb questions.  These athletes had to start somewhere, and like to share their knowledge with those who strive to be better.

5.  Draw up a plan and stick to it.  Schedule your rides around family time, NOT in place of them.  The weekend before DK 2011, I went hiking with my family.  You think I should have fit in one last monster  ride?  Hell no!  That ride was not going to help me.  In fact, the ride would have hurt me.  Missing valuable family time would have left me feeling very guilty.

Just hangin' at Taum Sauk

6. Be flexible with your plan.  If you miss a scheduled ride, know it's not the end of the world.  Don't be hard on yourself.  Stay positive and complete your next ride.  Beating yourself up will not achieve anything.  You will miss a few training rides, that's just how life is.

7. Family first.  Without them you are nothing, nowhere, nada.  They aren't going to care if you finish or win your race.  Especially if it came at the expense of spending time with them.  I passed on the Dino24 race last year.  I do not regret it.  Sydney had been in school about a month.  We had spent everyday, all day, together for the last 5 years.  Now we were down to a few hours in the evening.  I trained for Dino, and it would have been an amazing experience, except for one thing.  Hearing "don't go Mommy, I will miss you" as I pedaled.

8.  Love your bike.  Name it, take care of it, hug it often, ride it more.  I love my Kona Jake The Snake.  I keep him clean, his chain lubed and stay on top of his repairs.  If I take care of Felix during training, he will take care of me on race-day.  Love you Gino at the HUB.

I want to be on the 2012 card

9.  Do the work.  Your bike will not pedal itself.  Be prepared to make sacrifices along the way.  Be mindful of what foods you put in your body.  You are expecting your body to perform this incredible feat. Take care of it for goodness sake.  You can't expect your body to respond well to copious amounts of Taco Bell and McDonalds chased with six-packs.  Drink more water, eat simple food.  Eat when you are hungry.  It's really that easy.

10.  Envision the finish line.  If you can see it, you can achieve it.  I saw the finish line last year from my first pedal stroke.  If it had not been for the weather.....  I will be making best friends with mother nature and hopefully she will not screw me this time.

Dirty Kanza sign up is done. Spots sold out in record time. I got one of the last 25 myself.   A field of 400 riders will be there.   If you are on the fence, hop on the wait list.  A lot can happen in six months.  If I can do it, YOU can do it.

I can't wait to see this red door again.

  I am not leaving Kansas without my bragging rites, pint glass and posing for my trading card.   Goosebumps...Dirty Kanza 2012 WHO'S WITH ME?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Airborne News

It's not that heavy

I owe you all an apology for not keeping you up to date on what's going on with me and the Airborne Flight Crew.  Life has been pulling me in several directions lately, all of them good.  Gus, my Goblin, and I had a great summer and fall together.  We covered several hundred miles on the various trails here in Missouri.  We even raced one in Cape. Great pictures here. I put Gus together all by myself and did not modify him. I wanted to ride him "stock", to show you that this bike does not need any improvements and is good to go, right out of the box.  I did play around and put a set of sweet Velocity BluntSL's on him.  The white rims really complimented the 'alien green' frame.

Berryman Trail

Council Bluff

I have to be honest,  I have been a little hard on him.  We have had a couple of instances where either he threw me or I threw him.  Either way, there is not a scratch on it.  The paint job is incredible, in my opinion.  I did not have any issues with the Selle San Marco SPID saddle, even after a ride of four hours plus.   The Rock Shox Reba RL fork and Elixir R brakes performed well. I did not see a need to upgrade them.  The drivetrain set up is a SRAMx7 2x10, which shifted easily, even with all of my operator error.  For a price tag of $1,149.95,without pedals, I was not able to find anything comparable with the components the Goblin came with.  At this price, you can afford to upgrade any component you would like. You can see other in-depth reviews here.  I stand by my original assessment also.

By late August,  I needed to spend more time on my single speed with the up coming races I had scheduled.  I had to hang up Gus, until....  November.  My last ride on Gus ended in disaster and me in the emergency room the next day.  I accidentally stepped in a hole and twisted my ankle.

Patience, grasshopper

I can give you one guess what Gus is undergoing this winter.  He will become a bit lighter, and you will see a lot more of him out on the trails in 2012.  He is quietly hanging in the basement , waiting his turn to become a badass.

On that note, I want you to know that I had a "life-changing" time being on the Flight Crew.  I learned a lot about how the bike industry works, got to see some top secret designs, and met a gaggle of new friends.  Want to be a part of it?  Not sure?  Start reading here..... I suggest going for it.  You never know .....

Details on application submission are here.  Good luck.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

FaceBook Games

Love it or hate it, FaceBook has changed how society communicates.  Growing up in the 70's, we wrote letters and waited anxiously for a response.  With email available, you can receive an answer to your situation within a couple days.  With many businesses creating pages on FaceBook you can connect with someone in an instant and call it a day.

If you have hit the "LIKE" button for your favorite company,  you may have noticed that several of them have giveaways.  They may have you leave a comment , write a caption for a ridiculous photo, tag yourself in a photo, or even write a poem about one of their products.  I look at these contests as an opportunity to try new things and win gear that I can use.

Well, let me tell you about the items I have scored in the last 2 months:

Sweet new meats
Just yesterday I received a SET of Specialized Armadillo tires. These run $65 a piece. I won a set by uploading a photo of myself on a commute.  Super easy.  These tires came at a fantastic time, since I will do my DK200 training on them.  Specialized boasts the "you will die before these tires do".  I will let you know.

Comes in six other colors
Last week I received two things.  The first was from Innate Gear.  I received a Doppio, to drink whatever I want from. I drink coffee from it every morning.   It's smaller than my usual cup, so I have been drinking less caffeine.  The Doppio also holds scotch well.

Great towel for the trainer rides
The second bonus was from  Amino Vital.   They were very generous and sent me a great towel, polo shirt and winter hat {which were quickly scooped up by Trevor}, and a sampling of there product, in all three flavors.

I was contacted by yurbuds, I won something in their twelve days of Christmas contest.  They won't tell me what I won, but it should be here in 4-6 weeks.   I will post a picture when I receive it.

Try your luck, you never know what you might win.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Say Hello to My Little Friend

Most women would be upset if they received a piece of exercise equipment for Christmas.  I am not like most women. I have wanted one of these bad boys for a long time. I admit I have ignored my core and arms for too long.  It's high time they both catch up with my legs.  Living with a Certified Personal Trainer, leaves little room for excuses.  This little fella came with a DVD, but with Trevor's help, I intend to build my own personal workout.  Tomorrow is Day 1.  After taking  a picture and measurements, I will give the DVD and a whirl. According to my research, I will improve strength in my arms and define my marshmallow core. Hell yeah.  My mantra " this will make you a better cyclist" will be playing in my head.  I expect it's going to hurt.  I also expect this 12lb. item to take me to another level of fitness, so I will be able to, ' do what I do' even better this year.  Enter the kettle bell....  Out the door are squishy arms and jelly belly.  I will stay accountable by posting results and pictures.   Every two weeks? Too much?  Let's do this already.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Years Eve 2012

Prepare to be jealous.  Last year Jim and I hiked Lewis and Clark, full 8 miles, hung a hammock in the trees and were home at 11:59.  This year we took our hike a little further and spent the night under the stars with friends.

Beautiful night for a hike

Heading out

Stay hydrated

Break time




Moose Drool is better in the bottle

Mid morning 

Great place to converse

Vitamin D


More hydrating

15 lucky peeps

Awesome story I found under a rock

This was pretty good at midnight

Until next time

What did you do?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Years Resolutions

Are you one of those people who makes New Year's resolutions?  If so, are they easy, attainable? Or are they a pipe dream, something that will probably never happen?  Either way, are you able to achieve them or do you give up a few weeks/months in?  

Most of society has made a resolution to lose weight, exercise, and eat healthier this year.  I will not be one of them.  I already enjoy an active life-style, don't need to lose any weight, and do not need to overhaul my diet.  So, what resolution did I make then?

Sitting across the table from several of my relatives, this past holiday season, opened my eyes to what I need to work on this year.  I can get in the best shape of my life, but it really means nothing if I can't share it with those I love.  I realized that I have let some important relationships shrivel up.  I felt somewhat alone and out of the loop.  There are many things that I could have talked about, but all I felt was awkward.  Very awkward. The words did not come and I am left feeling ashamed that I had lost touch with members of my family.

My focus in 2012 will be spent on repairing relationships that I have let go.  It's time to take action.  I can change this, even though, I am not quite sure how to go about it.  Baby steps, I imagine.  I don't think it will be easy, but it's definitely worth my time.  Besides, if I can figure out how to ride a bike for 24hrs, I can figure this out too.  

 I wish you all a happy and healthy 2012.  You have the power to make it an awesome year.  So, do it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Inquiring Minds

I have received several inquiries as to the 'nature' of my recent writing assignment.  So.... drum roll please .... I am very pleased to announce, that I am writing a piece for the Ozark Trail Connector magazine. The Connector is a magazine put out by the Ozark Trail Association, so they can show you what you are missing, right here in Missouri, and it's right outside your door.  Link to the issue.

I will not be able to share any of the article with you, but I can tell you that it's about my journey's along the Ozark trail . I get to work with an incredible editor, who I know I will learn a lot from. I will let you know the when the magazine will be available and where you can get a copy.  I am told it will be sometime in spring, March/April. Don't worry, I won't let you forget about it.

If you can't tell how excited I am to have this opportunity, ask me about it in person.  I would love to tell you all about it.  Thanks for your support.  What an awesome way to kick off 2012.