Sunday, September 20, 2009

Congratulations to all the racers at this weekend's Chequamegon! It was a sad day for me because after my DNF at Ore to Shore I was thinking it was the right decision not to preregister. I should have tried. A DNF feels better than not trying to race at all. The week before O2S I didn't sleep at all, so going into the race I just felt exhausted....I just wanted to nap at the start line (not race 50 miles)! This year has been tough racing for me as I don't get enough sleep. I had a good long ride anyway that day to make myself feel better.

Last weekend both Scott and I raced at Spirit Mtn (PowderMonkey MNSCS race). It was a beautiful day and Kiera had a handful of baby sitters as my dad and mom and eldest sister and her boyfriend showed up to watch. Scott's dad raced and then helped babysit as well (Kiera ended up sleeping during the entire race at home, but made it for the awards). Scott was 5th even after waking up with a terrible sore throat. He has been sick since, but has made the turn for the better. I won thankfully. I felt fine climbing, but like a fish out of water on the singletrack. Two weeks worth of pulling Kiera in the Chariot and not riding trail was probably not the best idea. The race course was in fantastic shape and very well marked!

Today I was riding at Spirit Mtn race course and was down by the fern gully just about to start the new singletrack cut last summer when I saw a wolverine clinging onto a tree ahead of me. At first I thought it was a bear cub, but the tail was too long. I braked to stop and the noise scared him off ... he flew through the air and I went a different way. I did not want to get any closer!!!! He is really south of his normal range, so I wonder if he was someone's pet or something that got let loose???? Crazy! I also saw a rather large bear this summer and wolf or coyote cub on several occassions while riding. I better start singing while riding...that'll scare the animals off!

Next weekend we are contemplating racing in St. Cloud. Depends upon how much sleep I get, but I would like to race more yet this season with the few races that are left.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It has been tough making the time to update this blog. Scott is on facebook and has been keeping in touch with a lot of people that way. I am still trying to pay back some of the sleep deprivation from the last 10 months! Kiera is finally sleeping through the night for the past week or two now. It is amazing how much better I feel overall. Scott and I were able to ride 90 miles the Sunday on our road bikes and did another 60 mile or so ride yesterday. Thank God for grandparents that are willing to watch Kiera while we ride. Sunday was my first road ride in almost 2 years; my poor bike had dust on it! I forgot how nice and easy it is to pedal. I feel like I have just started my spring training. Too bad it is the end of July.

Our last race was the Lincoln Park Mtn Bike Challenge here in Duluth a few weeks ago. This was a first annual event complete with music, food, etc held in the park next to this beautiful creek in Lincoln Park. The start of the race was all uphill for expert riders; about 9 minutes or so. Then the course hit the Piedmont trail system that was just put in a year or so ago. It is rocky and bumpy, but a really nice trail. Better riding in my opinion at race pace than for a slow, easy ride. Scott and I both won, which was really nice. Kiera had a blast hanging out with Grandpa Irv (Scott's dad). She loves to ride on his shoulders and check out all the people and surroundings.

Scott and I were planning on racing the MNSCS race at Elk River, and even prerode the day before, but neither of us felt that great preriding. We decided instead to ride our road bikes from Scott's mom's house on raceday while she watched Kiera (see photo with Kiera and Grandma walking). Our 2.5 hr ride turned into a 4+ hr ride. We didn't realize that one of the roads we took was so long without any roads to take a short cut. So of course, we didn't have any food, no cell phone and both of us got really tired and crawled in.

My next race will be Ore to Shore while Scott watches Kiera. He doesn't enjoy the sand and I kinda like it. I expect the race to be pretty brutal for me and if I can finish that will be nice. My race speed thus far feels like it is missing a few gears this year, but I feel really lucky that I can still go fast enough to win sometimes. We love hanging out in Marquette and I am looking forward to jumping into the lake after the race. (I say that every year and then I get my toes in the cold water and chicken out. I am sure Kiera will enjoy it though!)

Kiera is doing really well. She is crawling all over the place and has been now for months. She pulls herself up and cruises furniture, the cupboards, and while hanging onto us. She loves to be part of the action and loves to see new places, people, things, etc. She can stand on her own for several seconds and can take a step while falling into me if I am sitting on the ground. She loves to use her pointer finger to point at things, and loves to take all the books off her book shelf multiple times per day. My mom just gave me a barn and farm animals/tractor, etc for her to play with. It's fun to watch Kiera make the rounds to all her favorite toys, including opening and shutting her bedroom door on her own. She just started waving bye-bye, but is pretty selective when using it.

Our little family has also been strawberry and raspberry picking, along with taking a lot of walks on the Duluth Lakewalk (photo above with Kiera on Scott's shoulders). Our garden is starting to produce peas and beans will be along soon. Our lettuce garden is still producing. Next year I hope to have an even bigger garden.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The MNSCS Dirtspanker race was just over a week ago. Scott got 7th and I got 2nd. The course has a nice long climb on it that I just tried to stay steady on and not lose too much time to Jenna, but I did anyway. I stunk in the singletrack and after talking with Scott this past week realized my rear shock was locked out. Wrong race course for that to happen. Scott felt ok during his race until he started cramping on the 3rd lap and still had one more to go. He only lost one place. The rest of the week after that race I felt wasted. The course is so fun, but definitely one of the more challenging courses in the midwest. Spirit Mountain is tougher though (that race is in Sept). There is also a new race in Duluth this year at the new Piedmont trail system. It starts in Lincoln park and climbs up to the infamous Exhibition drive (in the wintertime where all the houses are all lit up with Christmas lights along the Duluth hillside). From there it will enter the new singletrack built over the past couple of years by COGGS and other volunteers.

Scott and I finally decided late in the week to go to the Chain Drive Festival in Houghton, MI. It was tough to decide between that race and Mt. Morris, but Houghton is definitely a cool town to hang out in so we chose to go in that direction. Thankfully, Scott took the initiative because if it were left up to me I would have been sitting on the couch or catching up on sleep instead of driving 4.5 hrs to the U.P. I was not excited to race as I had not ridden my bike in two days, put in a long day at work on Friday in the clinic and felt both mentally and physically wasted. Scott drove the whole way with Kiera playing nicely and then finally falling asleep while I tried to sleep, but somehow it always seems to escape me.

Luckily, a friend of a friend helped Scott find us a babysitter during the race so both of us could race. Scott later wished he would have been the babysitter and saved the entry fee and babysitting money.

The course was really fun. Since it had been two years since we had raced the Chain Drive, they have added a lot more singletrack. The singletrack is well worth the drive even if neither of us felt that good while racing. Scott was in second place until 10 miles to go. His group wasn't going super fast, but he just fell apart and couldn't push his pedals any more than an easy spin. I almost caught up to him so that tells me how bad his race was as my legs hurt the entire time while racing and I felt like my head was in a fog of fatigue. I also had way too much air in my tires in the singletrack and felt like I was in a pin ball machine getting bounced around. The rocks were still slick from the rain the day before. I should have stopped to let out some air. My skills are just not that good yet. I was very glad to see the finish line. I was thankful I still finished first as I was sure the second place woman was going to catch me. As neither of us felt stellar about our day and Scott considerably more bummed than I, we decided to head home straight after the awards.

Kiera did really well and loved the babysitter. She had a great day looking at all the people and everything. Of course when she saw me the crying started as she finally realized she was hungry and then settled in for her first nap of the day in the early afternoon. Since getting back to Duluth after sweltering in the VW van with no AC, we have been to the zoo, lakewalk, on a hike with a friend and visiting with several of our other friends and their children. It is fun to see Kiera interacting with other kids. We are thinking she'll be an extrovert and take after Scott more in that way.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This is a photo of Kiera and her Great Aunt at the Afton MNSCS race a few weekends ago. They had a blast and it was so nice of her Great Aunt to want to hang out with her. We had a very busy weekend first by celebrating my dad's 70th birthday party in his hometown of Mora. There were a great number of relatives there...from as far as Alaska. Then we hung out and stayed at the Swanson's meeting their friends that have a 6 month old and of course seeing little Stella.

I felt better at the Afton race than at Cable by quite a bit. It is a different type of race course though being primarily singletrack at Afton, whereas the new race director at Cable took out most of the singletrack. I can tell I have not found my pre-pregnancy racing form, but things seem to be heading in the right direction. Or at least I thought so after the race. Scott didn't finish his race. He doesn't seem to do well in the heat. It was about 85 degrees and, thankfully, windy. Our car doesn't have AC, so Kiera got a bit overheated and fussy on the way home (poor kid). By the time we got home that night it was 41 degrees in Duluth. We got a better warm up this time than at Cable. However, I am more concerned with getting our babysitter and daughter all set up that I don't warm up as well as I should. Nothing like a race to jump start the system!

The Cable Classic was our first race (back in May). Neither of us got a warm up as we were trying to make sure our baby and babysitter (Michelle F-H) were all set. They had a blast and Michelle did such a great job of keeping Kiera warm and happy. The race was about 35 degrees at the start. I really didn't want to race, but since we had a babysitter I felt obligated. I didn't feel good racing, got a really slow start and couldn't wait for the finish line. There was quite a bit of singletrack missing from the race course compared with previous years and at one point in the race I got kinda bored. We really like the Hayward/Cable area and have been racing this race for years to support the area. On a high note, I did feel better racing this year than last year while pregnant. Scott didn't have a very good day. He doesn't really know why except he may have seasonal allergies. The cats have been gone from our house for about a year and he is feeling much better overall. He no longer naps everyday after school/work and has been a whole new person in terms of energy level.

As far as expectations for this season I've come to realize I shouldn't have any. Neither of us get regular sleep and thus regular training is difficult. Some days while riding I feel so tired that I am not sure that it is doing me any good except it is good to have some time to myself. Our next planned race is this coming weekend - Mont du lac MNSCS race. There has been additional fun singletrack added to the racecourse lap from last year. I hear it is really fun! I'll get a chance to preride it the day before the race as I work the days the course is open to ride (Tues). Since Afton, neither of us has felt very well and my rides are exceptionally slow with zero ability to go fast or hard. So, one or both of us may be handing out water instead. We'll see.....

Monday, May 04, 2009


I've finally got both bikes together and set up for the most part. I've got to get a reverse pull derailleur for my bike and some rim strips for our wheels, but then we are ready for the race season. I rode my Fuel for the first time on Sunday on gravel roads since the trails are still too wet. It feels very similar to last year's bike but I seem more comfortable on it - maybe it's a touch smaller????

I cannot wait to get this thing on real singletrack and give it a real whirl.

Here's a few pics of some of this year's items.


Monday, April 27, 2009

My new Fuel is like pedaling air. This winter and into early spring, we were both riding my Paragon (and, for me, not enough) with little to no bike maintenance. I cannot believe how much better my new Fuel feels to pedal as well as my legs afterward. Moab was a pretty eye opening trip for me. I fully realized how out of shape and over tired I am from lack of sleep these past 7 months. My biking legs are not coming back as quickly as I was hoping. I realize now how much more I was able to train in the past and how much Scott and I trained together; especially helping one another get out the door to ride when we may have not felt like it. It is much easier now to make excuses and play with Kiera instead. She is such a great kid!

Kiera is finally sleeping through the night these past couple weeks (except I still get up once or twice to give her a nuk instead of nursing her back to sleep). Overall, I am feeling some better and better on my bike and training in general. Scott is fired up to race, whereas I cannot help but feel a bit reserved. I am starting to feel better since I have added a few intervals into my training regimen and gotten back in the weightroom. I was doing pushups, ab work, and other dumbbell exercises at home, but I realized that was not enough. I didn't feel strong while riding in Moab. Luckily, Scott lifts on his lunch breaks two times per week and Kiera and I join him for one of those times as my work schedule allows. It is fantastic as Kiera can play on the mat while Scott and I lift. (The weightroom is usually empty while we are in there so it works out perfectly).

Sunday, April 19, 2009


It sure is nice to be back home. The drive out to Moab is pretty easy, but the return home is always much more difficult. It didn't help that Vail Pass was closed due to an accident, so we had to spend a couple of hours waiting for the DOT to clear the site and open the road again.

Kiera was quite a trooper during the entire trip. She didn't fuss at all on the ride down and she absolutely loved everything about Moab. Like the rest of us, she was a little cranky on the way back, but it wasn't too bad. We stopped in to meet Stella Swanson - boy is she cute! Kiera enjoyed grabbing at her and playing with all of her toys...

It was nice to see most of the snow melted because the gravel roads are really starting to shape up. The city opened up Skyline Road-our gravel road in the summer/snowmobile trail in the winter-last week so we now have another access road for our mountain and cross bikes. I got to enjoy these views the past week now and and there are very few cars that frequent them so that is also a huge plus.

On a side note, my brother Brad who now lives in Flagstaff, AZ, just ran his first half marathon. He has a propensity for getting lost in mountain bike races, and the half marathon was no different. However, the funniest part of the story is that as he was packing his bag for the 1/2, he included two right shoes. Instead of bagging the race, he decided to take out the insole and run the thing with two right shoes! After finishing the race he decided to jump on his bike and get in a long ride...he is quite the tough guy. He can't stop talking about how amazing the singletrack is in Flag and Sedona. Sara, Kiera and I plan on going out the end of June to check it out.

That's all for now because I've got to put together the new Fuel that arrived right before we left for Moab!

Monday, April 06, 2009


We rode from Canyonlands Campground yesterday and did Poison Spider. My dad took a wrong turn about 5 minutes from the top so I had to go look for him, and unfortunately missed out on one of my favorite trails, the Portal. Jesse, Bill and Sean got to ride it and like usual, Sean flatted (for the second time on the ride). It's tough to ride in large groups because the chances for mechanicals increase and it seems someone is always falling off the back. I got to ride a good chunk of Poison Spider twice looking for him and found a new way to make a loop out of Poison Spider.

Bushey ran into some people from Marquette, MI on the ride while I was searching for my dad.

It's supposed to be in the 60s today so I should be able to put away the insulated jersey for the first time!

Sunday, April 05, 2009


We arrived in Moab on Friday afternoon greeted by high winds, rain, sleet and a generous dose of hail. Yep, this is the Moab we remember! We figured it would be a little chilly since the drive from Denver to Grand Junction was loaded with snow, wind and cool temps. The mountains were supposed to get anywhere from 20 - 30 inches of snow so we felt pretty lucky getting the van through without any problems (other than having to stop twice to chisel the ice off the grill to allow air flow to the radiator). We didn't let the weather deter us, however, and we rode Amasa Back to Jackson's trail Friday afternoon. It's tough to start a ride in wind, rain and hail, but we were excited to get on dirt again. Sara loves the new Trek Fuel even though I didn't get around to setting it up properly before the ride.

Woke up Saturday morning to snow - plenty of snow - falling in town and about an inch accumulated on the tops of vehicles. The surrounding rock cliffs that surround the town were blanketed and the contrast between the snow and red rock was stunning. In the 13 - 14 years I've been coming out here, this is the first time I've seen snow in town (I've seen plenty of snow in the higher elevations around town, but never snow in town). Saturday's ride was a short one again due to weather, so we opted to do Moab Rim trail to the Hidden Valley hiking trail in order to get a loop in. So far, Irv, Sara, brother Brad, Jesse Reints, Nikolia, Mattable, Shamus, and Schwalbe have arrived. Mister Bushey and Veits are on still fishing in Glenwood Springs since the weather isn't great, but they plan to meet up for Sunday's ride - a Slickrock appetizer followed by Porcupine Rim.

I'd attach some pics, but alas, I've forgotten the usb cord.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Since the weather has been so windy, chilly and wet like it usually is this time of year, I busted out the rollers for an hour on Tuesday. Every once in a while it's nice to jump on them to remind myself how monotonous it is to ride the trainer. In addition, the session motivated me to commute to work the past couple of days in pretty unfavorable late March conditions (see above pic). The thing I enjoy most about commuting is that I don't have to get into a cold car and Skyline Road is so rough very few drivers are willing to navigate the pothole filled/patched boulevard.

On the ride in one morning I saw a guy jogging in a big ol' Ski-Doo snowmobile jacket - impressive. Someone is also building a house right on a cliff off the edge of the road - not impressive.

On the ride home some dude in a green minivan with a prominent Pro Life sticker gave me about about a foot of room on this desolate road. He obviously isn't concerned about life once out of the womb...

Here are a couple of more pictures of last week's storm:

Tomorrow, Sara and I are going to get in some single track riding since it's supposed to be -1 tonight!

Friday, March 20, 2009


Even though I've been sick all week - and had conferences - I thought it would be a good idea to commute by bike to work today. I've been battling a serious cold/sore throat/sinus headeache for the past six days, so the lack of riding has been grating on me. My first mistake was thinking the local forecasters would be correct about the form of precip we'd receive (rain instead of snow)so I rode Sara's 'cross bike to work with road tires on it. My second mistake was underestimating my illness and thinking I could ride it out of me. Needless to say, now the throat is worse and my ears are even more plugged than before.

In a couple of weeks, everything will be better because we'll be back here!

Friday, March 13, 2009

MARCH 13?????????????????????

Sara and I did the baby swap today so each of us could get out for a ski. I cannot believe how good the skiing is for March 13! I had to drive to Fergus Falls yesterday for the State spelling bee, and on my way up the car thermometer hit -24 just north of Floodwood... I had to look a couple of times to make sure I was reading the thing correctly because that's the lowest I've seen all year and it's almost the middle of March. All of us have been battling sore throats and general malaise over the past week, so hopefully we can kick it for good over the next couple of days.

I rode the Superfly last weekend with little Narum for about six hours and that didn't help my sore throat much; however, it did wonders for my attitude and for getting my rear end in shape for Grand Junction/Fruita/Moab. We rode a bunch of stuff walkers were on, and once that stuff sets up after a warming spell, it's as rough as any boulder field the West has to offer.

Charlie Farrow left his indelible mark on some of the stuff we rode - a six inch swath the runs from one edge of the trail to the other. I kept expecting to see an imprint of the old boy in the dearth of snow, but no luck. That guy has the uncanny knack of being able to get 10 miles of riding in out of a five mile trail.

Kiera's sleeping, Sara's in the process of making bread, and I'm going to see who's playing in the State hockey tourney.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Scott, Kiera, and I were in Houghton, MI this past weekend. Scott coaching and waxing for the CSS Nordic Ski Team (regional meet and final NCAA qualifier). We had one athlete make NCAAs. Very exciting! Kiera and I hung out a bit as it was below zero saturday morning until it warmed up enough to ski. I pulled her in the chariot for 2 hrs on saturday and just over 1 hr on sunday with Scott and I finally getting to ski another hr while he pulled the chariot. My legs were torched yesterday and achy at night. All three of us are fighting a cold. Off to bed......

Friday, February 06, 2009

Kiera is growing fast! She loves this little standing play station. I put her in this while I ride the trainer. I started riding the trainer a week or two ago consistently and finally got outside last week riding my 29er on snowmobile trails. I had a blast! I miss not riding with Scott as we mostly tag team watching Kiera while the other one gets out to exercise. Scott has been mostly skiing while I do a bit of everything - run, ski, bike, lift weights....I have been hiking less while carrying Kiera as I am finding that I need more vigorous exercise to get my shape back.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So what have I been doing with my time since I am not blogging very often? Besides nursing and caring for Kiera, working, and trying to get some training in; I have been reading a ton. Really, since finding our we were pregnant about a year ago we have been reading. Some of our favorite/most informative books are the following:
"Hypnobirthing", by ???
"Having a baby naturally", published by Mothering Magazine.
"The complete guide to breastfeeding" (although I disagree that breastfeeding is painless, my left nipple still hurts from Kiera taking a chunk off of it during the first week after birth - thank God for pure lanolin).
"The vaccine book", by Sears (lists what is in and how each vaccine is made)
"Saying no to vaccines", by Dr. Tenpenny
"Vaccines, Are they rally safe and effective?", by Miller
"The vaccine Dilemma", by Murphy
"Crazy Makers", by Simontacchi
"Genetically engineered food: chaing the nature of nature", by "Tietel and Wilson (dry but informative book)
"Organic Baby", by Rider
"Happiest Baby on the block", by Karp
"Your pregnancy week by week" (I liked this better than "what to expect when you are expecting" although there was good information in both books)
and Tons of baby books by various authors.

My favorite magazines are:
Mothering Magazine
Mother Earth News
Oxygen (although I have so many magazines that I have to let this subscription go)

I like to read and be informed so we can make good decisions (hopefully); especially as it relates to Kiera and our health as a family.

Our goal this summer is to expand our garden. I did a lot of drying and freezing last summer that has paid off. What I was not able to grow, I could get at the farmer's market. This winter we are sharing a winter food share from a local farm with some friends. It has been really nice to get local (root) vegetables this way.

Training is starting to improve. I am riding the trainer, running, skiing, and lifting weights. I put Kiera in the baby bjorn when I lift weights. I am careful and I can do mostly everything I normally do, while Kiera loves looking around.

Better is piling up. Looks like I'll be done reading leisure books for a few weeks!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Irv (Scott's dad) babysits for us while Scott and I are both at work. Sometimes the house gets chilly, so he'll wrap her up in his down winter jacket. Goes nicely with pink? Kiera is not a very good sleeper unless she is warm...and the best way to get her to sleep is put her in the baby bjorn and go for a hike. If the sun is out I have taken her out starting at -5F with the temp rising as we walked. She stayed plenty warm as we have a nice fleece one piece outfit for her and I wear a special jacket I bought from a friend that is meant to wrap around both of us. I usually get too hot and end up with my hat and gloves off even when it is really cold. Ideally, I walk with her most days. If I don't get out I'll walk around the house until she falls asleep or take her on errands so she'll sleep in the carseat. I hate lugging that carseat around though.

My training thus has consisted of a lot of hiking/walking, some running as it is fast to get a good workout, some strengthening, and XC skiing. I was riding the trainer some up until we got good snow. I am planning to get out on winter rides once this cold snap lifts (should be by sunday) and now that I fixed the flat on my bike (from when Scott last used it). I was going to enter a running race, until I tried to do some intervals and decided to save my $25 instead. The intervals went really poorly and I am not sure what I was thinking. I am not a fast runner like I was in college.

It is definitely more challenging getting in good workouts after having Kiera. I thought pregnancy was tough! That was nothing, but at least my body feels better and is getting close to back to normal (prepregnancy weight). I still don't feel as strong in my core as I used to. Some of my friends have told me it took them up to two years to feel normal again. I don't have that much patience.

I am sure most people know that the Midwest Trek Regional Team is no longer an entity. Scott and I were disappointed, but understand with the economy the way it is. We love riding for Trek and they have been really good to me/us. I feel really lucky to have ridden for them for 5 years. Scott and I plan on racing this summer, although we have to figure out what we are going to do for bikes. We'll see.

Well, better run. I am on borrowed time and I have loads of work to do. I have never done so much laundry in my life and been so far behind on getting work for my job done.