Saturday, December 06, 2008

Here is Scott and Kiera while Kiera is checking herself out in the mirror. Kiera is growing and changing fast. She likes to 'talk' and kick, or as Scott's dad says 'likes to start her motorcycle' by imitating with her legs that motion; especially while on the changing table. The changing table is what we call her 'happy place'. She smiles and seems happiest when half naked.

Kiera is only eating one time per night now and then another in the early morning (5 or 6 AM ish) which is much better than the three times per night when she was smaller. Some days I feel almost normal and not so sleep deprived. Other days I feel like I am 'melting' from lack of sleep. I finally felt good running and biking just over a week ago. Before then I felt like I was just slugging along; really slow and heavy. My body is finally starting to feel more like my old self before pregnancy. I still have a few pounds to lose. The last ten has been the hardest. I lost the first twenty without much effort; it was probably mostly extra fluid.

I am mostly running because it is easier and faster to get ready, a good workout in a relatively short amount of time, and I can push Kiera in the Chariot (we have an infant sling) when it is not too cold. I have been riding the trainer some, but mostly avoiding that piece of training equipment and riding my Paragon outside when I have enough time. Timing training is a bit tricky with breastfeeding. Today I left Scott a freshly pumped bottle so I could run as long as I wanted. Good thing too. I could tell there was quite the scuffle for Scott to get Kiera to take the bottle and they were both out cold by the time I got home. They are very good napping buddies.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Here is Kiera being held by Grandma Sally (Scott's mom). She is keeping us very busy! I have been trying to blog for at least three weeks now. She developed a sore bottom, therefore we skipped going along with Scott to Sheboygan. She was REALLY unhappy that weekend, but we got some special diaper cream and she is better now. Our goal was to use cloth diapers exclusively, but her bum cannot take it. We alternate throughout the day depending upon what is going on. If we go for a walk or hike, she gets a disposable diaper put on. If we are just around the house, then the cloth diapers work. I still have to try elimination communication, or EC for short. There are times at night where she wakes and is dry. It is quite amazing after she has been sleeping so long. She is 5 weeks old as of yesterday and is getting big fast. She likely weighs about 10 pounds and no longer looks like a newborn. She is also alert and awake more. She loves to put weight through her feet and look out the window. She also loves getting outside (she sleeps the entire time usually and I have figured out how to nurse and walk at the same time. I was psyched to figure it could be done).

Training for me is up and down. I went for my second run of the fall last sunday with only one jogbra on. I will never again go for a run without at least double jog braing while nursing. My mammary tissue hurt so bad after that run! It hurt about as bad as it did initially when we were first learning how to nurse and not doing everything right. I thought I got mastitis from that run (painful infection of the milk ducts), but I think I just inflammed them from the constant jarring. I got really sick the next day developing a 102.6 degree temperature that took until wednesday morning to break. I have never felt so achy, crappy, chilled, hot, etc all at the same time! It took most of the week to feel better and I finally got back on the bike saturday (yesterday). I ran again today with the proper support and things are much better. I think I'll have to triple bra next time though.

Biking is going well when I get a chance. Sometimes I am too tired to ride trail and it has been raining a lot this fall so I think I have only ridden trail three or four times total. I have a hard time believing I ever went fast on a MTB. I am still a bit heavier than I would like and feel like a fish out of water on the trail when trying to ride faster than slow pace. I try not to get discouraged and try instead to just enjoy being outside and enjoy the break from taking care of peanut. She is great, but I do appreciate my time away from her so I can look forward to seeing her again. If I get some sort of break once a day, I am very happy. Grandma Sally has also been coming over the past three saturdays so that Scott and I can ride together. We are VERY thankful Grandma Sally wants to spend so much time with Kiera!

Scott's race at Sheboygan had its ups and downs. He felt good both the first and third laps, but for some reason felt terrible laps two and four (thus losing a number of places on those laps). He definitely has been racing better this year than last and is encouraged that he feels good enough to keep him from dropping out of races but he also thinks his best races are ahead of him. The lack of sleep prior to the race didn't help (he got his first full night of sleep the night before Sheboygan - lucky guy). Getting rid of the cats was the best thing we could have done for his health. He has so much more energy now and I feel like I have a normal husband back. He used to have to nap all the time; especially after work each day. Not anymore. Now he is a work horse! This afternoon he and Todd McFadden are doing some trail work to help getting the XC ski trails ready (Magney and Spirit). Hopefully, we will have good snow this winter!

Next race for Scott may be the MN state CX race. We'll see.

Friday, October 10, 2008

This has been quite a week. Kiera feeds two to three times a night. The third time is usually early morning, but then she'll sleep until 8 AM or so. She is so much fun, and a lot of work. I don't feel like I have really slept in the past two weeks, but I also think it could be much worse. She is a good baby and once asleep tends to stay asleep for a while. Her and Scott are great napping buddies. I got to take my first nap with her this week. Otherwise I had been trying to keep her in the sun and daylight as much as possible to help her get rid of her jaundice. That first week was tough and we were so concerned about her as her bilirubin numbers was just below the level where they admit the baby to the hospital to get put under the bili lights.

I rode my trainer for the first time this past tuesday. I am still tender in the saddle area, but if I sit crooked I can make it work. I was able to ride two times that day on the trainer for about a 1/2 hour each time. My first outdoor ride was this past wedsnesday. It felt sooooo good to ride outdoors and not have my belly in the way. I could breathe relatively normally. Pregnancy made me really short of breath, so it was so nice to be able to actually breath harder because of effort and not just because of extra fluid, hormones, and pregnancy-induced anemia. I had to ride the trainer again yesterday - but I made an hour that time all at once as our little peanut took a nice nap with Scott. I am supposed to not lift anything heavy while my body returns to normal, but I figure lifting some weights is Ok as long as I don't overdo it and am cautious. It is amazing how quickly I am losing my baby belly. I still have a pouch, but after two weeks I think I am on track. I lost 20# the first week, but I am sure I will lose more slowly from here on out. I only get to weigh myself once a week so I don't get compulsive about it. Thankfully, I don't crave crappy food for the most part and with caring for a newborn we often miss meals. I have figured out how to hold Kiera while nursing and free up one hand to do other things if I need to. She makes the cutest little noises and faces though that I often just stare at her.

I wish I could race Sheboygan this weekend, but my body is not feeling recovered enough to race. I am supposed to 'take it easy' for 6 weeks after giving birth to allow my body to recover, but I can tell to push it at this point is not wise. It takes a while for parts that dilated to return to normal along with some other changes. I am hoping to race the Iceman, but we'll see. I love that race!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Our little baby developed jaundice this past week. Her numbers were pretty high, but not high enough to be hospitalized. We kept her in the sun; best without a diaper. This photo displays the result of taking that risk. Scott and I laughed so hard because it shot out of her like a cannon! Amazing such a small little person has such power.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Kiera Esther Kylander-Johnson was born on Saturday September 27th at 4:11 AM. She weighed 7 pounds and 1/2 ounce and was 20 inches long. Scott and I cannot describe how amazing and precious she is. I never thought I could love someone so much (besides Scott). She is alert and makes the best noises; even her farts are cute. We have taken her for several walks and a hike on trail this evening. She is lulled to sleep by walking and is a very good baby. She has a bit of jaundice right now so we have to keep a close eye on her and I have been spending a lot of time sunning her in the window. Scott has been fantastic and we share as much of the baby duties as possible; except for nursing of course. Our life has definitely changed; but I couldn't imagine it any different. We are enjoying Kiera immensely.

I am a bit sore as I have a few stitches and will need some time to heal. But otherwise motherhood is suiting me very well and Scott is an exceptional father. Kiera is one lucky little girl to have such a good dad.

We have had so many well-wishes from friends, family, coworkers, and studnets (and their families). We feel very blessed to have so many people care about our little family.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This summer has given me an entirely different perspective to racing. I have gotten to watch a few races and see the lead group (and following groups) go through - especially at the O2S and Chequamegon. I won't get to see that again once I am able to race again. Watching from the sidelines is ok, but I would much rather be racing. As long as I am able to get my exercise in for the day, watching is fine. But, if I cannot exercise then I get really crabby. I have gotten to see Scott race quite a bit this summer, so that has been good. I am especially glad that he is able to race and not DNF! He is still trying to get his full health back from being overly exposed to cat allergens for too many years, but he is coming around and can even pull a desent result when unable to train much or not feeling that great. I am still hoping his best results will come yet in the season, although there are only a few races left.

Scott raced the final MNSCS race in the series held in St. Cloud yesterday. After a bit of deliberation, we decided I wouldn't be going into full blown labor anytime soon (I was hoping, but sure if he didn't go the baby wouldn't come. She didn't come anyway). He didn't feel that great during the race and actually crashed once, hit a tree and reopened his hip wound from last weekend, and struggled a bit the first few laps in the singletrack. We don't have fast big ring singletrack like that in Duluth so it took him a bit to get used to the course as he didn't preride. He still finished fifth which he was pleased with given his mishaps, how much riding he has been able to do lately (he was fighting a cold earlier in the week), and how he felt during the race. Thankfully, Kyia's friends were nice enough to give him water hand-ups. It was 80 + degrees during the race. (Back in Duluth the high may have hit 60 with cold winds off the lake).

Our baby is still incubating and I have to remind myself that although I am not that comfortable, she isn't due until the 26th. We have been given so many due dates, but I think that one is the most accurate. We are both anxious and I have had enough false labor (braxton hicks) that something should start happening soon. I hope so anyay. I tried to ride my trainer last week - I made 7 minutes before I had to pee, and then 8 more after that until my belly just had had enough. My belly hangs too low to bike comfortably anymore. I rode outside for the last time on the 8th - which isn't too bad all things considered. I would need my bars to be higher to ride again and unfortunately we have maxed out my steer tube and riser bar combination height. If we lived on a good road, I would have invested in a cruiser. Trek makes some really nice cruiser bikes. Unfortunately, our road is gravel in one direction and full of pot holes and an 8-9% grade 6' uphill (15' walking) to get to better roads in the other direction. I am still hiking, walking, and lifting weights. As long as I get out everyday I feel pretty good about the day. I am excited to ride my bike again! Even to go running would be nice. I tried to take a few jogging steps (maybe shake the baby out a bit?) yesterday, but flight was non-obtainable. My legs just don't work like that right now. Hopefully, baby will come soon!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Since I got to see the Chequamegon from the sidelines this year, I decided to post Scott's race recap that he sent to our Team Manager, Chris Shaw. I'll post more later, but Scott had quite the eventful day and Trek had a great showing. Read on.......

The Chequamegon Fat Tire 40 is the race to do in the Midwest. For many people, it is the only race they do all season. The festive atmosphere begins on Friday and runs all the way through the weekend. Ken Derico even brings in the big Trek trailer full of demo bikes for everyone to gawk at (and ride when the weather permits) and get a sneak peak at what to expect for the upcoming season. It’s basically a big party with a bike race going on at the same time.

Since Sara is ready to have the baby at any moment, we decided to head down the morning of the race. We pulled in to our usual spot and met up with Chris Shaw and the boys. It was an overcast day and a little chilly, although nothing like last year’s sub 32 degree morning temps. All the usual suspects and many more out of towners showed up for the big show and appeared ready to go. This race always attracts some big names and this year did not disappoint: Jonathan Page and Trek Factory riders Ross Schnell and Lea Davidson showed up to give the local heroes a run for their money.

The worst part about the Chequamegon is the start because there are so many racers in such a small area. One would think that this amount of congestion would chill racers out a bit, but for some reason just the opposite happens. We were 30 seconds into the race when I heard a tremendously loud grinding noise, rubber screeching, yelling, etc. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I see Aric Harland’s cross bike come flying at me. My unsuccessful bunny hop attempt over his bike left me bruised, bloodied and confused. I quickly remounted only to realize my front tire burped about 15 pounds of pressure out. I drilled it and almost fell again attempting the left hand corner onto to Highway 77 since my front tire was almost flat. I wanted to get to Rosie’s Field before stopping, but I lost the rest of the air once I hit 77 and had to stop. I couldn’t get my air to work and began running down the road pushing my bike and yelling for a pump, co2, etc. A kind Duluthian stopped to help but his air wouldn’t work either so I began running and hollering again. Thankfully the course is littered with people that live in the area and as I was running and hollering for air, a spectator that lives on 77 said he had a floor pump in his garage. Next I find myself sprinting down this gentleman’s driveway to get to his pump. Of course, I couldn’t get the bead to seat right away and once I did I noticed a small hole in my tire. Thankfully the sealant kept the air in and my race was once again underway. As I re-entered the course I looked left for riders and I can honestly say I didn’t see any. However, looking up the road all I could see was a plethora of jerseys. I must have been darn near dead last and fully aware that my hopes for a good finish were long gone.

Thoughts of dropping out popped into my head for a moment, but I realized that I’d have to ride all the way to Telemark anyway so I might as well finish. It was surprisingly easy to pass people on the Birkie trial and gravel roads, but extremely difficult on the four-wheeler trail. I’m also thankful that Sara waited, and waited and waited for me, because without the water bottle hand-up I would have been in big trouble. Thanks Sara! Needless to say, it was a 40 mile time trial for the entire race and I was smoked by the end. It was a bummer that I didn’t have a result to show for such an effort, but that’s how racing goes sometimes.

Lea rode like the rock star she is and won the race handedly. Mike Simonson had another crash but was able to work his way up to 11th which is quite impressive. Jesrin ended up 20th in the 40 but managed to WIN the Sunday Funday crit. Ross and Zach Vestal both finished around the top 30 and it sounded like they had a good time.

Thankfully the bone-chilling, pounding rain held off until 2:00 or so, but it did put a damper on the festivities. Sara and I got to hang out at the Trek tents and chat. It was fun meeting Ross, Lea and Zach and hearing about some of their adventures this past season. My only win(s) on the day came in the form of a Rummycube game against Chief, Doug and Bob and trouncing Doug in a game of Ms. Packman!

A big thanks goes out to Gary Crandall and his crew for putting together such an organized event. Once again, thanks to Trek for their support and for the HUGE donation to the single track trail construction project that is underway from Hayward to OO! Trek goes out of its way to give back to the cycling community and I am thankful!

Jesrin and I will be heading to St. Cloud for the last MNSCS race of the year this weekend as long as Sara doesn't go into labor within the next 12 hours or so.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

My baby belly is getting bigger! We are 37 weeks as of this past Thursday. Thankfully, Chris sent me this new T-shirt that fits! I have finally come back around after having a bad last week. I was exhausted and had to sleep a ton from last thursday until this past thursday. I was having braxton hicks contractions on and off most of the day, with some waking me up at night, but they were not strong enough to be the 'real thing' nor close enough apart to overly concern me. I couldn't exercise much and thus have not ridden my bike in two weeks. I hope to go for a ride this weekend. Hopefully, it will stop raining!

I wasn't able to join Scott at Maplelag last weekend. Riding in a car is not comfortable and four hours one way was out of the question. My belly is too big. I was glad he finished the race. His first two of three laps was not very good for him as he felt like he couldn't race. This race went a bit better than the Border Battle the previous weekend in that he started to come around sooner and able to finish strong. His third lap he was racing, before that just trying to turn the pedals. He would like to race in Rhinelander tomorrow. He is still trying to find someone willing to go with him. Seems most people stop racing this time of year, or are taking the weekend off from racing prior to the Chequamegon, or preriding the Chequamegon racecourse this weekend. I would love to go with him, but four hours one way again is out of the question. I was just shot after traveling to and from the border battle (had tons of contractions and was exhausted the next day).

My last OB appointment went better than the one before it (I had lost 4# and 1 cm the previous visit). Now I am back up 1# and regained some of my belly girth. I was so tired and probably dehydrated the previous week (it was really hot and I was very busy with work). This last ultrasound the baby was totally fine (passed her biophysical profile with flying colors) and although my amniotic fluid is low normal range, it was up a bit from the previous visit. I have never been so nervous and concerned about baby. I have not had any problems the entire preganancy (except for the normal stuff - like heartburn, dizziness upon standing, etc) until that bad week.

We'll see when baby decides to make her grand entrance into the world. I keep telling her to 'take it easy on mom' during birth. We read to her at night - we are reading a great book called Peter and the Flying Starcatchers by Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson. It is a 5th/6th grade level book (or so). And I rub my belly a lot. I like to share with others when she is moving - especially Scott, but my coworkers and friends also. It is fun to share her with others.

Otherwise, I am harvesting our garden vegetables. I planted way too many carrots this year. I have frozen 6 # or so of shredded carrots and now make a mean carrot cake. (And still have more to harvest). I'd love to grow all our vegetables for the summer and fall. I've got a way to go.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I am still biking some, at least I did last Sunday. I have been really tired this week and have needed to lay down after work most days. I have only been able to get out for short walks on the other days. I hope to ride this weekend. My last ride I was quite tired as I got up early to ride before heading down to the Border Battle WORS/MNSCS race that day. I did too much that day and ended up getting quite a few braxton hicks contractions that evening and during the night. I took the following day off from work to rest up. I literally laid in bed all day. (A rarity for even pregnant me).

As far as the race went, Scott felt bad and slow his first two laps, then started to feel a bit better for laps three and four. Finally, during his last lap he looked like he was racing. I could tell he wasn't having a good day. He was having some back pain on the drive down and that usually isn't a good sign; although I was not going to point that out. He stil ended up 13th (in what he refers to as the 'stinkhole'; as he was one place out of the money). I always feel bad for him when he doesn't have a good race or feel like he can race. Luckily he had one good lap and was able to do something. I handed out water to he and Jesrin and got to chat with some really nice people. It was fun to watch the race unfold from a different point of view, however I am anxious to start racing again.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Our (last) weekend started on Friday driving over to Marquette, MI with my previous teammate Doug Swanson, his wife Anne, and Scott. We left quite early in the morning and had a pretty uneventful trip over. Doug kept us entertained with a wide variety of singing groups I had never heard of and I loved having Anne with us! Not racing gives me a bit of a different perspective and I don't get all gripped about the race ahead of time. The biggest bummer is that our men miscommunicated so that Anne and I could not bring our bikes (not enough bike trays on the car and not enough room inside). I was REALLY disappointed. Marquette has the perfectly flat lakewalk paved trail that I would have loved to ride! Anne and I walked instead. I got a nice blister from walking in Birkenstock sandals right under the ball of my foot. Lacking a safety pin in which to relieve the pressure, I used an earing post instead. It worked quite well.

I was really nervous for Scott at the start of Saturday's O2S race. I also really missed racing this race! The most of any race thus far this year. I was hoping Scott's form would come back around after fighting some mystery illness since racing at Spirit Mtn two weeks ago. It poured rain for a good half hour before the start of the race; firming up the sand(which is extensive in this race). After getting a bit lost we (Anne, Megan and I) got to the second water stop to give hand ups. I could tell by what group Scott was in that he did not feel well. I also had a feeling he would not finish the race. He raced for maybe another ten miles and then just rode until he saw me at the fourth water stop along the course. I felt so bad for him and felt terrible as he was really bummed out. We thought he had turned the corner, but after visiting Dr. Mongeon again this week, we learned Scott is fighting some virus. He is already feeling better and so we are looking forward to the Border Battle at the end of this month. I plan on going to do handups and support the Team. Hopefully, baby will wait a bit longer to come out (I'll only be 35.5 weeks along so she'd better) and I am still comfortable enough to travel (which I should be).

On a positive note my teammates took 1st and 5th. Excellent results! Jesrin got outsprinted by Doug S, but he made Doug earn it. It was really fun to watch the sprint finish. Doug also complained that he tried dropping Jesrin "like 12 times" and he'd catch back on each time.

Doing hand-ups was really stressful. Not knowing exactly where we were going added to the stress and then rushing to get to each checkpoint was stressful. I'd rather race! I have a much better appreciation for how hard Scott has worked to get to each hand-up point in the past O2S races for me! He is amazing as he made it to two more spots than I did up to the point where he dropped out. It's like the race within a race!

I am still riding. I rode about 1:20 yesterday. I could barely zip up my only medium size jersey over my belly. If my belly gets any bigger my zipper is going to officially protest or fail. I ride really slow and feel best on downhills (of course). Uphills are really slow and it feels like I am just touring along. Scott rode with me on Sunday and I appreciated the company. I doubt his HR ever got over 100 bpm. I also only ride my full-suspension Trek Fuel MTB on smooth pavement. I haven't been comfortable on my road or CX bikes all year. I feel strong lifting weights, although some of the machines are out being that I cannot lay on my tummy and my tummy is too big for me to be able to do the leg press anymore (with the machines I have available). My arms feel really strong although my strength to weight ratio keeps deteriorating as our baby gets bigger. She is now gaining the most weight each week of the entire pregnancy. This has been a good week thus far regarding energy levels and I have been fairly productive; which I appreciate.

Monday, August 04, 2008

If you look closely you can see a wide band under my jersey. This is a magic neoprene band I wear around my abdomen for support while I have been hiking. I finally figured I could wear it for biking after running around and biking around while wearing it at the PowderMonkey MTB race the other weekend. I was just tickled the first ride I took. I felt so good and my legs felt great! I need to stick to paved roads and ride my full suspension Trek to keep the ride smooth enough. My belly just no longer likes bumps! I can ride up to an hour and a half with the addition of this band. I tried to go longer yesterday, but I ended up having to slow down considerably due to getting a lot of braxton hicks contractions and then had to lay down for quite sometime after getting back. I look quite huge in my kit. :) This photo was taken at 32 1/2 weeks. We are getting closer and looking very forward to meeting this active little one!

I had to add the photo of Scott with his facial hair. He kept a mustache for about a week and I couldn't help but chuckle every time I saw him. He almost never has more facial hair than a 5 o'clock shadow.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The first photo is Scott and Jesrin on the podium from yesterday's race. Scott placed 4th and Jesrin 8th. Two Trek riders in the top ten! Our weekend house guest and friend, Jesse, took 7th. At the start of the race, (2nd photo) Scott got his front wheel crossed by another rider right off the start line and had to come to a complete stop right after the gun. He made up a good deal of ground on the first climb up the downhill ski run to be in 2nd position going into the first section of singletrack. By the end of that short section he was leading the race! He kept the lead until the end of the first lap (the laps were about 12 miles long with 1300 feet of climbing per lap). He looked so smooth riding the singletrack and mostly back to his old form before the past few years of DNFing almost every race. The second lap he kept contact with the leaders of the Moore brothers and he and Sam rode together. Scott has been focusing on getting healthy all summer, especially since getting rid of the cats. He has been riding, but not training as hard as he would like. He is definitely coming around. Last year at this race, he just crumbled going up the last hill and had no chance at keeping contact with the other 5 riders in his group. This year he kept his (4th) position and held off Jay Richards who came in a bit behind him. This race was his best finish all year. There were really good riders at this race that are in good racing form. For me it is really fun to see Scott's form coming back; it definitely makes it worth me going to the races (and not being so bummed that I cannot race). It is also much easier to live with a happy husband. :)

Prior to getting rid of the cats, Scott was talking about giving up racing if things didn't get better this season. He was frustrated with his constant cold/allergy symptoms and what to do about them; especially when it came to riding and racing and not feeling well. He also has way more energy this summer than I can ever remember. He doesn't need to nap all the time like he used to (I've taken up that duty as the baby is taking most of my energy - last week was particularily 'bad' with needing to lay down a lot and not getting to exercise as much. I had one of my rare days of frustration and ever more rare days where I cry at the drop of a hat - gotta love those pregnancy hormones.)

Back to the race: the local 10o'clock news had coverage of the race with Scott leading! (We contacted the local news people to get a copy of the clip to send into Trek, but the video guy wants $60 for a copy. Pretty steep fee for under a minute of coverage.)

The last photo is of Scott, my brother in law Brad (he rode 140 miles that day on his road bike), and our good friend Jesse soaking their legs in lake superior after the race. (I stood in there as well prior to taking the photo and could barely get out cuz my legs were so frozen they wouldn't move normally; my center of gravity has changed from pregnancy that I almost fell into the lake a few times while trying to get out!)

The other cool thing about the weekend was that the Dr. (Dr. Mongeon) that is helping Scott get well did his first MTB race. So did his 4 year old daughter. Our friend Sophie also raced the kids race (she's almost 8 - she also ran the weds night kids race last week the same day as going on a nearly 2 hr hike with me). It was really fun to see everyone this weekend, hang out with good friends, get a taste of what having two children would be like (we sorta babysat a bit this weekend) and learn more about how amazing the women I know that have children are! (The ones that don't have children are amazing too!)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Scott led the Monday Night Ski Hut Ride tonight. Thirty-five riders showed up. That is a great turn out for a moutain bike ride. The race course for this Sunday's MNSCS race is ready to go (just need to mark it, but all the actual trail work is done). It is in the best shape of the season. The new sections have been a great addition with a lot of positive feedback from riders. I have yet to ride these sections. As Scott says, I'll have a whole new trail to ride post-pregnancy. I am looking forward to it! I'll likely be out volunteering day of the race and handing out water to some of the Expert riders (Scott, amongst others). I have had a rough go these past few days. I have been exhausted and hungry. Not a great combination for me as I like to keep busy. Laying around and napping on the couch are my two least favorite things, but seems to have replaced training the last few days. Our baby is moving a lot and shifting her position often. Sometimes it is not so comfortable and sometimes she kicks so hard that I cannot fall asleep. We have started to read stories to her at bedtime. Babies hearing is much better developed at birth than their eyesight from what I have read. I am going to update my profile (hopefully this week) with hightly recommended baby books for anyone interested. I finish up my grad class in the next two weeks and I am looking forward to having a bit more free time. My garden has been a bit neglected and I finally got some weeding done last night. We should have beets and peas pretty soon. Our lettuce is still fantastic and the carrots shouldn't be too far behind. I didn't seem to plant enough variety, but what we have gotten thus far is really good.

Scott just got done doing this crazy week-long gallbladder flush diet. Basically, he didn't eat any fat for a week (I did some creative cooking) then drank a lot of lemon juice and some olive oil the last day. He got really bad diarrhea from it and is suffering a bit, but he is done with it in enough time to hopefully recover from it in time for this weekend's race. I hope it is worth it. He is definitely coming around and is better off this year than last year. It has been a bit of a slow process. I hope he feels great once baby comes, cuz I am going to need some major relief time (and time to get back on my bike!)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This is a photo of the newest section of singletrack on the Spirit Mountain race course. We spent the past saturday morning making this reroute in order to avoid a highly eroded section on the railroad grade. There was a nice group of COGGS members and volunteers that showed up. This section is really nice and about 1/4 mile long. Scott and most of the rest of the group made an additional one mile section in the fern gulley part of the course. I am told it is really fun to ride; the guys have been busy riding it in and hopefully the monday night ski hut ride will meet there for the next few weeks before the race to help beat the trail in a bit. My plan is to hike it sometime this week and check it out. The race course is really coming along and there is talk that the course will be two full laps for expert men with the additional new trail.

Our good friends, Mike and Michelle, hosted a baby shower for Scott, baby and myself this morning. It was our baby's first party! A lot of our friends showed up and it was really good to get everyone together before the baby comes. This may be the 'free-est' we will be in a while. We had breakfast, coffee (decaf for me), good conversation, and then Scott took a group out biking the course at Spirit Mtn while I hiked with a couple of my friends after everyone else had left. Baby is busy as ever and I have had some Braxton Hick's contractions this past week. I had quite a few on Tues and Weds, which forced me to slow down even more. I am probably done biking for a while, but we'll see.

More course photos should follow after my upcoming hike to check out the new section. There also might be preriding of the course allowed the day before the race, but I'd recommend checking out the COGGS website or MNSCS website for updates.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Scott and I were likely fighting some sort of something last week. Our stomachs did not feel well (and it wasn't my cooking). Scott has been busy getting the Spirit Mtn MNSCS race course ready; recruiting other COGGS members along the way. The course should be ready to go after this Saturday's workday to finish it up. Due to a wedding the saturday before the race, preriding the course is not likely. The Spirit Mountain Director is quite adament at not seeing a single bike at Spirit during any wedding. Not sure how that works as it is public property, but COGGS cannot allow preriding on the day before the race. There are a few re-routes due to erosion, but the course is mostly the same as last year.

I have been busy resting. I have not felt well enough to ride my bike, but hiking/walking is fine. Lifting weights, too. I found a deer tick on me (unfortunately biting) this past Saturday. I was really freaked out about it. We spoke with a local infectious disease doctor and discussed my (and baby's) risk of getting Lyme's disease. Only 1-2 out of 100 ticks carry Lymes. I have to watch the area for the bullseye (other areas if it is another bacterium present in ticks, but not Lyme's) and then if I get any symptoms (headache, fever, flu-like symptoms) to go on antibiotics. (Amitryptaline, as doxicycline - the standard treatment - is toxic to baby). Problem is is that symptoms can start anywhere from one week to three months or more after getting bit. I am still leary as I don't feel like my energetic self, but I baby takes a lot of my energy and sometimes I feel the way I am feeling when baby is growing. She is sooooo busy and kicking most of the day!

Scott raced the WORS race in Eau Claire this weekend. He was in about 10th until the last lap when he started cramping. Unfortunately, due to having to ride on what I call 'salvage mode' he lost 9 places and ended up 19th. I felt bad for him as his racing is coming around, but he seems to cramp the last part of the last races he has done. He doesn't feel like he needs to drop out like he has in the past, so that is good. He is also still working with a local doctor to get rid of this fungus he has. He is getting there, but it is slow. Getting rid of the cats was a really good decision and we both sleep better from his lack of snoring. He also doesn't have cold-like symptoms (runny nose, clearing his throat all the time - which drives me nuts after a while).

Thankfully, the weather cooled off this week. Sunday's heat just about killed me and it is the first time I avoided going outside. I sat under the kitchen ceiling fan while I did my grad class coursework most of the day. I got it done, but was sweltering. I hate having to shut all the shades in the house to keep the sun out (and the greenhouse effect) as the house feels a bit closterphobic all shut up like that. Scott and I went down to Lake Superior when he got back from the race to cool down. He soaked his legs in the cold water and I soaked my ankles (the water was COLD!)

Next race for Scott is Spirit Mountain on the 27th of July, then Ore to Shore. We have a bunch of birthing and infant education classes coming up along with an increasing frequency of OB visits. I am hoping to feel good enough to get back on my bike. Everytime I go to The Ski Hut, I take the Trek Calypso for a cruise around the store. I wish we lived in a neighborhood condusive to riding a nice upright cruiser bike. I think every pregnant woman needs one of these bikes!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The past few weeks have been very busy. I finished teaching for the summer and will work part time adjunct next year. I started working in the clinic (as a PT) two days per week. Our gardens are growning and we have been eating lettuce already out of it. We bought a scarecrow deer repellant system (it has a motion detector that when activated shoots water in an arc to ward off garden invaders). So far, so good.

I have officially entered my third trimester. Baby is constantly moving! Especially if I sit or lay down. She's kicked so hard that it has startled me out of sleep! Amazing as she only weighs about 2 pounds. I have a feeling I am going to have to walk or bike or something to lull her to sleep once she's out! This is today's picture of her progress. I can still get my shoes on without help. I am still biking, although I don't ride trails or gravel much anymore. The bumps don't feel that good, even on a full suspension. I can only ride my race bike as the handlebars are set up high enough for me to sit up without bending much. If I bend over while riding I'll get really annoying heartburn. I have been hiking and lifting weights also and I feel strong. Hopefully, that will come in handy during labor.

Scott is planning on racing this weekend. He is also mowing the spirt mountain MNSCS race course and getting it ready. I have been hiking the trails and clearing off sticks and small branches that could get caught in wheels. The trail is drying out nicely due to the good weather this past month. Should be a good race!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The first photo is from the Women's Demo night at Mont du Lac (MNSCS Dirtspanker race course). We had enough voluteer riders so that we could take one or two riders out at a time to ride the trails and give advice/coaching. It was really fun and we got to meet some really nice people. The rave were the full suspension bikes, especially for the newer riders. About 30 people showed up total for the event. Unfortunately there were a few rain showers that night that may have kept our numbers lower than we had liked. I plan on volunteering for future events like this as they come up. This photo also shows my expanding belly. Thankfully, my last year's kit was a bit big - not anymore and the spandex also gives nice belly support for riding. Probably the thing I have to figure out how to tame the most is heartburn. I get it from leaning forward to reach my (already-too-high-for-racing)handle bars. Tonight on my bike home from work I really had to slow down, but it was fine on the way into work.

The second photo is of Scott while racing at Mont du Lac this past Sunday. After a slower start, he worked his way up into 5th until the last lap when he started cramping. He lost two spots, but still ended up 7th and still in the prize money. He is starting to look like his old racing self again (prior to his cat allergies taking him down for a few years while we didn't realize that was his primary problem). It is so nice not to see him DNF and back into some racing form. There was a good racer turn-out and thanks to Tom Gaier, we were able to give hand-ups for about 10 riders. The weather was on the cooler side, but the course quite slick from the recent rain. Scott unfortunately chose a tire that I have dubbed the best in snow and sand (but not mud). I didn't realize that those tires were the ones he put on his race bike. I assummed he put on the mud tires. He won't make that mistake again.

Next on the agenda - Scott plans to race in Eau Claire for the WORS race. I'll probably join him and give hand-ups. As long as I get some riding or exercise in I am quite content.

On another note, our little developing baby is kicking so hard sometimes that I can see my abdomen move! It is the best part of being pregnant. I have a feeling from her active times to not-active times that Scott and I are going to have our hands full!

We have been cat-free for about a month and I have a happier husband! (Our house is also much easier to keep clean as the fur balls in the corner no longer exist!).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Monday was the weekly Ski Hut ride. We had a really nice group show up as you can see from the group photo and luckily the ride was at Spirit Mountain (basically Scott and my backyard). The singletrack on the top of the hill is quite wet with standing puddles so we stayed off of that and rode the lower sections of singletrack that were quite good (really excellent as always). We could tell we had gotten a nice amount of rain this spring as the rocks seemed a bit bigger than last year. It was really nice to be able to ride trail. This ride is a 'no drop ride' meaning the group stays together and we periodically wait to regroup. If a rider is really struggling to stay with the group one of the Ski Hut riders or myself with ride with that person and give them some pointers or just company so they don't get lost. These weekly rides are also a nice way to find out where the trails are in Duluth as we usually ride somewhere different each week and many of the trails we ride are not marked and maps do not exist.

The other photo is Bushey and myself comparing bellies. Who's is bigger is the question? I did seem to pick up Bushey's characteristic winter 'back bacon' along with my swollen belly. Pregnancy has been very interesting!

Tuesday nights (last night) is the Mont du Lac ride out at Mont du Lac ski hill on Hwy 23. I rode out with Diana from our house and then just rode back home (I didn't ride the trail as I was pretty tired from the past few days of riding). Unfortunately, my ride home was much longer than planned and I was very tired and going very slow by the time I got home. Good thing it was perfect weather out. I find going uphills I run out of patience sometimes as I have to go so slow to keep my heartrate down (and really just feel bonked anyway climbing).

Tomorrow some of the Ski Hut women riders and myself, representing Trek, will be helping out with a women's bike demo at Mont du Lac starting at 6 PM. I'll be leading a riding clinic, which will be great! We'll be going over some basic skills and riding on the trails. More photos of the event should be posted in the near future.

Monday, June 16, 2008

This weekend was a blast. After fighting this cough and not winning for three weeks I still decided to head to Mt. Morris with Scott and our friend, Bushey to the Wors Cup. The 5+ hour ride down was pretty uneventful, except for the butt and back sweat from the lack of automotive AC. We already knew they were not allowing preriding the course Friday night, but headed to the race venue anyway to pick up packets and go for a pavement spin. This was both Scott and my first ride on our 2008 Trek Fuels - our forks came in the day before we left on Friday and spent the rest of the day getting our bikes set up. One phone call to Shaw (see new look in photo above!) and two trips to The Ski Hut later, our bikes were together and ready for the weekend.

Saturday's XC race was the hottest day we have experienced all year. Probably wouldn't be that big of a deal if we were southern folk, but us Duluthian have not seen 80 degrees yet this year - and 70s seldomly. Rain and 50 is more of what we have gotten to experience, along with an inability to get on trail consistently up to this point due to all the rain. Scott loved how his Fuel felt and handled on singletrack. "It is the best Fuel ever", says Scott. Scott finished 19th - not as well as he would have liked, but he finished in the heat and did not DNF. A positive sign that he is getting healthy. If he can continue to improve things should get better and better as the season rolls along. He has been really good staying away from diary and corn (two things he is really allergic to) along with getting rid of our cats. All I know is he no longer snores! We both sleep better and his ribs no longer bother him (I usually poke him in the ribs to stop the snoring; it actually works quite well). Our friend, Mike Bushey, didn't DNF so he was happy. But the heat really took its toll on him the last two laps. I was the water girl for the race. Pregnancy has a way of taking the fight out of me. As you can see from one of the photos above, my abdomen is swelling. "Thick" is how I like to put it. I thought it was huge until I saw a picture. It feels huge, and my rear end even bigger. No wonder why it doesn't feel that good to ride uphills.

Sunday's races - the Super D and the Short Track - Scott was 11th in the Super D and 18th in the Short Track. He suffered the entire time in the Short Track. There was a nice, slow, grassy uphill that really tried the legs and lungs. Again Scott was happy to finish this race as it was tough and hot! I hope to see him get back to his old form self when he would get top 5 in WORS races. As long as he can stay on the right track he should come around. The Super D start was 10 racers at a time with a running start to get the bikes and the battle to see who would get to the singletrack first. Scott got a bit tangled, as did other riders, but finished second in his heat and then 11th overall. Not too bad! I got to ride the entire morning, on trail mostly and had the best time riding my new bike. Up to this point I had been riding my hardtail Paragon (don't get me wrong I love this bike, but it is meant to be a winter bike only), and the Fuel is so much nicer on singletrack. I was very comfortable riding and my brain got tired from thinking before my belly got sick of the bumps. Again it was a beautiful 80+ degree day and just easy to spend the entire day outside enjoying the racing, weather, riding, and seeing friends. It was really good to reconnect and see fellow riders again. Everyone did a great job and made a good event.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I've caught a bit of a cold and feel wiped out. I have not ridden in a week, thus my ability to post more than one time per month. I have been sleeping (trying to anyway) and using the Neti pot. There isn't much pregnant women can do to eradicate illness and the Neti pot seems to work better than anything else. I spent a good chunk of last night coughing and getting almost zero sleep. This illness is not helping my attempts to keep some sort of physical shape. The last ride I did I felt bonked the entire time and took a short cut home. I miss the ability to breath while riding my bike uphill. It is pretty amazing how things change and rather quickly.

Our little baby is really busy! I can feel her move off and on all day long. Scott has only felt her one time when she was kicking really hard. Being a pregnant bike racer is tough at times as I am unable to race and participation for me is not that much fun. I miss going to races and trying to go fast on my bike. I am trying to take each day one at a time and enjoy being pregnant as much as possible. It gets tougher as my belly and other body parts expand. We already have our baby's name picked out and are not telling. I have been reading Mothering Magazines and various books including Hypnobirthing, The Diaper Free Baby, What's going on in there?, and I just ordered both Having a Baby Naturally (published by Mothering magazine) and The Vaccine Book. My youngest sister and some of my good friends are essential in recommending good books. I feel very fortunate.

I hope everyone racing season is going well. Scott and I check race results and try to keep tabs on everyone.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dr. Mongeon is helping Scott get back on track. Scott is fighting some gut illness, so to speak, and this next course should help him get back on track. Scott had Giardia last year, identified by Dr. Mongeon, and once treated felt fantastic. Spring is always a tough time of year for Scott with the snow mold, pollens, dust (thankfully Scott cleans, but neither of us are that great at dusting).

I have been training as much as possible. I think I over did it a bit yesterday as today I am really tired and moving slowly. I hope to get a nap in and then a short bike ride later on. The weather has been great lately. Beautiful all weekend and now again today. Scott's brother rode back from Duluth to the Twin Cities today (he rode up on Friday). He doesn't have a car, so his bike is one of the few ways he uses to come visit. No wonder he DNF'd the Cable Classic. It took him 9 hrs to ride up the day before.

Not much else going on. Just reading a ton of baby books and trying to get things lined up for when baby arrives.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Cable Classic bike race took place yesterday. It was good to get out of Duluth. I am starting to feel a big caged and overworked. We have been cleaning our house and getting things organized for our babies arrival. Granted we have lots of time, but I already feel far behind on my motherhood reading.

I am going to focus on the good things about the race/participation event. It was warm enough at the race start - and sunny - that I could wear shorts and a short sleeve jersey. :) Luckily I stuck my arm warmers and vest into my hydration pack for the end of the race. I was very comfortable temperature-wise for the first 14 miles and riding at a decent pace, keeping the rubber side down on my bike for the entire race. At this stage in my pregnancy, I cannot afford to fall and I rode extra careful and slower especially on the downhills. I was riding my winter bike - which I love, but it is a hardtail and soooo much slower and more work than my race bike. I am still waiting for my front fork and rear shock to arrive for my new bike. I convinced Scott to ride his old Fuel instead of me and the steer tube is no longer high enough for my growing belly to be comfortable. Although, a full-suspension would have definitely been the bike to ride on this course. I don't remember there being that much singletrack last year - but I had more time to take it all in and enjoy it than in previous years. I got a lot of riding out of the saddle time during the race - I figured about 12 miles (of a 23 mile race) or so as about 1/2 way into the race my belly was very tired of the bumps. I stood on every downhill and rough section. I got to experience the race from an entirely different point of view. After riding a hardtail for this race and I can say they are much much slower on rough terrain. If the trail was baby-butt smooth, then a hardtail would be great. It was brutal on this course for me anyway. Luckily, Scott took off the bontragger rigid fork and put the suspension fork back on. Baby hates bumps and I am sure I would have had to DNF had I not had a suspension fork. Otherwise, the course was fantastic with a bit of cyclocross-type barrier action. There were high winds the night before the race that blew down a bunch of trees across the trail. I must have dismounted about 10x to climb over size-able trees! After about 14 miles I got really tired, my little 'governor' (baby) turned on the brakes and I had to slow down to mostly a crawling pace. I am not sure why. Two weeks ago I felt fantastic! This past week I have felt terrible riding; klinda bonky and low energy most of my rides. Baby must be growing or something. Other good things are that I got to see a lot of riders I don't usually get to see and congratulate local Duluthians on a great showing!

More than half way into the race it started to get cold. And windy. I wasn't working as hard so that was part of it, but it started raining after I finished. (Thankfully I had that extra clothing with me as I had to wait for Scott to ride back to the start of the race to get the van). Luckily, our good friend Ron rode with me the last mile or so of the race. I needed some encouragement at that point. I am hoping I feel fantastic once baby is out and I lose the baby weight that I have not fully gained yet.

Other good things about the day is that I felt so tired, hungry, and a little bonked that Scott and I shared some doritos and coke. I cannot tell you the last time I ate that kind of stuff (crap was the first word that came to mind). Nothing like a race to make me crave bad food. I have been really good during this pregnancy as far as nutrition is concerned and thankfully preganancy has taken away my cravings for chocolate. I have been really good at staying away from caffeine as well and gave up my daily cup(s) of coffee. The first trimester pretty much created a major adversion to coffee and I haven't gone back except for the occassional decaf from Beaner's.

Scott felt fine for the first 5 miles or so of the race and then pretty much had nothing after that. It is so odd. Maybe he is still fighting the cats? He took a short cut to bypass the finish and head to the start of the race to pick up the van. He was thinking of his pregnant wife and making sure I wasn't the one to have to ride back to pick up the van! Otherwise, he wasn't sure he'd quite make it back he felt so terrible. We need to figure out why he doesn't race well. It is incredibly frustrating for him. One thing this race helped me develop is empathy for Scott.... it is not very fun for me to race slow (as I did in this race) and I can see why he would DNF instead of forcing himself to finish when he feels so crappy. I felt really bad the last nine miles and if I knew a shortcut to get back to the finish I would have probably taken the DNF and shortcut. It is tough to stay in a race when the body is not cooperating. At least I am pregnant, have way more blood volume, some physiological anemia, and extra weight that I do not normally carry as all reasons for my inability to go faster than medium speed. Most days when I ride I go incredibly slow. I was practicing balancing while riding during this race as I would crawl up the steeper climbs at such a slow pace that any slower I would have tipped over. But, I was still happy to be outside, on my bike, and in the woods riding singletrack.

I better get to bed. Back to work tomorrow morning and baby needs me to sleep. She has been really active and I can feel her move quite a bit when I am sitting or laying down. It is really cool!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Scott and I are finally ready to let people know we/I am pregnant. We are five months along and have kept relatively quiet about the pregnancy. Our first visit to the OB kinda freaked us out because the risk of miscarriage is quite high (1 in 300) for women > = 35 y/o; especially in the first trimester. Since about 14 weeks pregnant or so, I finally started feeling better. Before that I was very tired and fatigued. I napped several times a day (even at work in my office with the door shut) as I couldn't push through it. I took the pregnancy test after feeling so tired for several weeks that I either had to be pregnant or overtrained. I can feel our little baby moving daily now. It doesn't feel like too much, but it is really a neat feeling. Scott cannot feel it yet, but in another coulple of weeks baby should be stronger/bigger. So far, apart from being tired, everything is fine. We had our 20 week ultrasound and everything looks fine and normal with baby. We were very relieved. We opted not to do any prenatal testing/screening for genetic problems as it was just an assessment of risk and not a definitive test; amniocentesis is not an option we would choose (1 in 200 procedures miscarry).

I am still training as much as I can. I have been hiking/walking and running (short distances) more, but I am still biking and lifting weights. Pregnancy doesn't get in my way as far as activity goes at this point; it is more work that gets in the way - but I think most people struggle to find the balance between the two and all the other obligations. I am signed up to 'race' at Cable in a week. I am sure it will be more of a ride than anything else as my breathing is a limitor at this point (and has been as early as 7 weeks). I hope to keep riding as long as I can and it still feels comfortable to ride. I have been riding my bike with my bars up a bit higher to make it more comfortable.

Scott and I have also decided that we have to get rid of our cats. After talking with a new doctor in town, the doctor basically said to get rid of the cats as they are destroying Scott's immune system. We think that is why he has not raced well or consistently in a long time! If anyone is interested in one or two sealpoint siamese cats, please comment on my blog. They are great cats. One male, one female. Neutered/spayed, declawed, litter box trained. They love to be with people and be 'pet'. The female cat, Kissa, is real lovey. The boy cat, Bartleby, is more aloof, but hilarious and loves to be played with.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Today I helped volunteer at the annual childrens helmet give away sponsored by The Ski Hut, SMDC and Kohl's. There were plenty of volunteers fitting helmets and lots of happy kids (and adults) of all ages that left with a brand new bike helmet. This was a great event to help promote bike safety. During my ride today I couldn't help but notice that about 1/2 of the riders didn't wear helmets (children and adults alike). I am not sure what they are thinking. I have worked in rehab as a Physical Therapist and after working with patients that have brain injuries it really helps solidifies the need to always wear a helmet!

Otherwise, I recently gave away my WORS All-in-One prize from winning the series last year. I won't be racing the series this year, so Trek, our Midwest Regional Team Manager, Don from WORS, and I thought it would be great to give the certificate away to a new female rider that wants to race WORS. Go to to find out the name of the lucky winner. I hope she enjoys the races, courses, and meeting other riders.

Today was the Iola race. Scott raced, but didn't feel very good. His first three laps were basically a ride and then he finally started feeling a bit better the last two laps. He didn't let himself DNF (thankfully). I think it builds character to finihs, but I have to admit the year we were drinking bad (bacteria laden) water I DNF'd once. I felt horrible and was going so slow that I couldn't help but think, What's the point? I really dislike racing slow.

The weather finally cleared this weekend. It was so beautiful both saturday and sunday. I was in heaven both days, getting outside, training and being warm. This spring has been the worst weather I have ever seen in Duluth. Most days are 35 or 40, cold, windy and rainy. The forcast is usually pretty crappy and then, like today, turned out to be beautiful. It is much more motivating to train when the sun is out. I cannot blame it completely on the weather, though. Work has been horribly busy and thankfully it is finals week this week so there will be a bit of a recovery period (from work) before first summer session starts. I have a lot to prepare for that, but it is much more flexible than regular class.

Better run to bed as it is getting late and Scott just returned from his trip to Iola.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spring training the last weekend in April......

Who needs Joe Friel's weight lifting advice when Mother Nature gives us all we can handle already? This is the strength maintenance phase since two weeks ago we were awarded ten inches of wet heavy snow and turned out that was our last maximum strength phase workout. Hopefully, next week we can get back on the bike again.

For those of us getting ready to nestle in our beds, our good friend and fellow rider Charlie Farrow is STILL racing across Iowa (4 AM start). To check on Charlie's progress go to (I think). There is great commentary from the race director Guitar Ted.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Here is my new bike! Scott is busy getting it put together while I try to get caught up on work so I can spend my time riding. I love the new frames!!! Just a few more things that need to arrive and I'll be ready to take it out for its maden voyage.

This years kits are really cool, too! More pics to come.......
Scott and I returned from Moab a few weeks ago. The weather was cold, rainy, and it even hailed one afternoon downtown (with snow in the higher elevations). I didn't get to ride as much as I had planned/would have liked, but I had a few good rides where I felt great! With all the bad weather it was a bit easier to get caught up on some reading, homework, and work (although I don't recommend that that is what vacations are for). Scott got in some really good riding with our friends Narum and Bill. We had a good group that was rounded out by Scott's dad. At 69 years old he is still riding well - singletrack and the more technical rides. Each year he seems to ride a little less, but still gets enough riding in to balance out his time in the bookstores or coffeeshops reading.

Our new bikes should be here anyday. I am looking forward to seeing what they are and how they look. There is a bit of speculation as to which frame we will get this year. They should be here anyday. This time of year is much like Christmas for us! I love it and I get all my favorite bike stuff!

For those of you that don't know and have not gone to the WORS website. I am giving away my WORS All-in-One Entry this year as I am not planning on racing the full WORS series. If you would like to put your name in (it is open to women only new to WORS so spread the word!), submit an essay as to why you should be chosen to WORS. (go to and submit via email). I'll pick and announce the winner sometime around April 26th so time is running out. Check the WORS website for more information on deadlines. I am hoping the winner will allow me to put some information on my blog about her season.

It is supposed to be up to 70 degrees today so I'm going to get a bit more work done and head out on my bike. My good old Paragon is newly suited with some Bontragger Race X Lite wheels and I got to give them some exercise....

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The past two days have been close to 50 degrees! Yesterday I jogged/hiked in the AM so that I could ride during the warmest part of the day. I felt the best riding that I have all year. I XC skied more this winter and rode less due to such good skiing conditions. XC skiing also seems harder than riding, probably cuz I use my arms alot more when I ski. Today the riding was just as good. It was warm and sunny and was completely overdressed. I am still used to dressing for winter riding - complete with the riding lobster mits and all. I road on the road both days as it is too warm to ride trails. The snow is melting fast and as long as we don't get much on the way of rain, we should be on track to ride trails by mid-to-end of April. That is pretty good for duluth.

While on my ride today I got hooted at by some guy taking note of my rear end on the bike. He must be a Fergie fan as he said something about "Bootielicious" (I don't know how to spell it obviously I don't own the CD). Not much of a compliment coming from a fat guy. (I hate getting hollared at. It is rude, disrespectful, etc.)

Scott put on the Bontragger race X lite rigid carbon fork on my Paragon along with my red foam grips. It is so nice and a bit lighter. Scott is planning on riding my Paragon in Moab while I ride his old Fuel. I need full suspension out there, while Scott can do without it.

Better get back to work and studying. Too much to do and too little time.......

Friday, March 21, 2008

The cross-country skiing has been fantastic the past few weeks! Last weekend I was in heaven as both Magney and Spirit Mtn were perfect conditions. The snow was fast and the hills felt effortless. Saturday was the best I have felt training since getting really sick in January. I love spring skiing. The temperatures are warm and the sun was so nice and warm. It was really nice not having to dress for zero degree weather. The trails were pretty busy, but not too bad.

I biked a bit last week as well, but the trails are so bumpy! The freeze/thaw combined with walkers and snowmobilers chewing up the snow make for a rough ride It's still nice to get out and spin the legs though. I love my little winter (GF Paragon)bike! Scott may take it to ride in Moab when we head out here in a few weeks. We are both very excited for our trip. We have been there so many years that we pretty much know where we want to ride the entire time. I love the variety and getting on my bike early. I also love the sun and the warmer temperatures! We usually hit Fruita and Grand Junction on the return trip home. I'm planning on riding Scott's 2006 Trek Fuel as my race bike hasn't yet arrived, although we have some time before we fuel up the VW van and head out. Scott's dad will be 69 this year and has gone every year with us for the past 8 or so years. Every year when we return from Moab he'll ask, "Same time next year?"

Otherwise, as one can tell by the frequency of my posts that life and work is really busy! I am still in grad school, working full-time, and training. If something isn't on my 'to do' list it just doesn't seem to get done. I am going to try to make more of an effort. I have less than two months left in the semester and of course my workload increases with each of the next few weeks, but maybe it'll force me to be more productive!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I just got a paper published on Fibromyalgia in the March issue of Gerinotes, a professional journal. I was really fired up when I saw it as I sent in my paper two months ago and didn't hear anything back as far as revisions. My tDPT studies require me to do literature reviews, which takes a lot of time to gather the information and write the paper. I better get to work as I have another one due here in early May.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I am getting over one of the worst 'colds' ever. I may have had influenza, but I am not sure. Both Scott and I were stuck in bed, him for two days and he got better within four days or so; I was in bed for about five days and up coughing most of the night for about a week. I'd then sleep all day if I could. I missed some days of work and forced myself to go in on other days, mostly because I could not miss class those days. It's been over two weeks now and I am still fighting this crude. Needless to say I have not been able to do much. Initially I could do nothing at all, except sleep all day. After about a week I could get out and walk, but then I'd have to keep my mouth covered as the cold air really irritated my lungs. I finally got out for a ski a week ago and it was so slow it was almost painful. I couldn't go any faster though, so after 50 minutes I called it a day. I had a little better ski the day after and have not felt that great since. Scott and I rode our bikes this morning on the snowmobile trails. Surprisingly, I felt ok going slow. I actually felt better riding my bike than walking up this monster hill on our loop to get back home. I'm past frustrated as I can only do what my body will allow. This is almost worse than when I was overtrained in college. My energy levels are in the toilet and I nap a lot. In the past I could usually push through being tired to get stuff done. Not with this. I have to lay down and sleep. I missed the opportunity to ski with Kim Eppen today at the Birkie. It would have been a blast! I would have held her back. Yesterday my skis were so slow that my legs felt fried afterward. I barely made it around the 10K loop. I'm doing what I can to get better. It's just taking forever!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Scott and I have had a really busy month! XC skiing was fantastic until we got rain a week ago. There is still good skiing at one or two places in Duluth (Snowflake and maybe Spirit). Coaching is going well. Our men's team is having a banner year, while our women's team unfortunately suffered a few injuries - one a broken wrist. Our girls team is pretty small compared to the guys team, hopefully that will build. We have been skiing quite a bit up until the rain came. Scott came home soaked from skiing in the rain that night. Otherwise, we have had really cold weather where it is easier to ski and stay warm than bike. The rain did bring good riding conditions so this weekend we have plans to ride a bit. I love my new Paragon. Scott has been borrowing it a bit. He rode it for his 'bike skills' class as part of interim for middle school students where he teaches. He and another teacher have a blast getting the kids riding obstacle courses set up in the gym. My knobby tires work well enough that I don't need studs while riding outside. It is finally snowing today, which should make it more difficult to see the icy patches.

We will have a few new faces on the team this year. Should be interesting, but fun as always!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Scott and I were gone recently for US Nordic Nationals in Houghton, MI for the CSS Nordic Ski Team we are helping coach. We had a great week. The snow conditions were great along with temps. Our athletes had a rough showing due to a flu that hit the night before the first race and then spread through most of our team. We had a few good results as well. I had not been to a US Nationals for skiing since 1994. A few of my former NMU teammates are now coaching, so it was good to catch up with them. One of the coaches for our CSS team was also a former NMU teammate. I miss ski racing a little, but still not sure if I would ever race again. The bike season is really long and in order to be a really good skier one has to train properly, including a lot of rollerskiing. I rollerskied this year with our CSS team for the first time in maybe 5 years. I have fun helping others develop ski technique.

We have gotten a ton of snow this winter so the nordic skiing has been fantastic! Scott and I have been skiing for over a month now consistently. Scott is convinced biking makes him weak and skiing makes him strong. My arms always seem pretty sore and tired from skiing. It is a very good workout!

Other than skiing and coaching I am getting ready to start the next semester. Last semester was really tough with coaching, teaching, and being in grad school. Hopefully, this semester will be a bit better. I hope the weather stays good for skiing. It is so nice to have a real midwest winter!