Life...and Dirty Kanza training

Gosh, it's been almost a week since I posted anything.  Usually that's because there's nothing much to talk about, but this week it's been the opposite.  Life has been full of drama, highs and lows, and too much has been going on to do more than look at the internet from my phone.

Taken at our wedding in 2002
First, and worst, while Jeff and I were getting ready to go to my cousin's rehearsal, his sister called to tell us his grandma had passed away.  Having to turn around and spend the next two days at such a happy event while not saying anything about it was hard (we didn't want to put a shadow on my cousin's wedding).  She had been in a lot of pain and I think was ready to go, but of course none of us were ready to say goodbye.  Thankfully, Jeff's California uncles had been able to get home in time to spend time with her, and she had family with her the entire time she was in the hospital.

The funeral was held this past Tuesday, and Jacob learned a tough lesson on "family comes first" when he had to miss the "funnest day of the whole year" (the school's very cool Ocean Olympics) to be at the funeral.  It was hard to make him miss out, but it led to some good talks about being there for the people you love and honoring the people you've lost.  He was very good and attentive, and after the graveside service, he wanted to go up and get a rose from the casket spray, so I know we made the right choice in having him there.  My older boys served as pallbearers, and I was both proud and sad to see them taking on such an adult role and responsibility.

There have been good things, too, though.  That same night we got to watch Nathan's team earn a big win in his last regular-season match in high school, and he played great.  Thursday was J's last day of second grade, so I'm now the proud parent of two high school graduates (well, N graduates May 26) and a third grader.  And Friday was Jeff's and my tenth anniversary.  It truly doesn't seem like it's been that long since we got married.  Time flies when you're having fun. :)

My older boys were practically babies! D (left) graduated last year and N (right) graduates next Saturday.

B&B we spent the night at...soooo not my house!
When I signed up for Dirty Kanza at the last minute, I knew I wasn't going to have enough time to really train for it.  That's par for the course for me, though, and crunch-time cramming is about what my attention span can manage.  I have a hard time sticking with long-term training plans because so many other fun things come my way.  My ex-husband may be on his third marriage, but clearly he's not my kids' only commitment-phobe parent.

While I'm probably better suited for a long, drawn-out race than a sprint, I'm sitting on my weak spot.  200 miles on a bike seat is no joke, especially when you haven't build up a callus. :)  That mean that my priority had to be logging some serious time in the saddle.  Unfortunately, while our life is always full, May...with a volleyball tournament, a First Communion, hospital visits, a wedding, Mother's Day (which I kind of took as MY day), a funeral, our tenth anniversary and, coming up, two high school graduations, one of which is in Wisconsin...was a whole new level of busy. 

Even so, I've managed to log some miles, though not nearly the saddle time I need to feel confident in having a chance to cross the finish line on June 2.  Here's what I've got so far:

May 4: 18 miles
May 6: 19 miles
May 8: 30 minutes on the bike trainer
May 9: 21 miles
May 10: 24 miles
May 12: 28 miles
May 13: 52 miles (plus 8 mile run)
May 17: 31 miles far this month I've managed 193 miles...around 10 miles shy of what I'll face in one day in Kansas.  And all of these rides have been on paved and/or flat trails, not at all the terrain we'll be riding.  Even so, I'm feeling cautiously optimistic: 

1)It's taking longer and longer to get uncomfortable in the saddle, and eventually my butt will get to that point where it realized that protest is futile and gives in and stops complaining.  Hopefully this will happen before June 2. 

2) My rides have gotten progressively faster, and while speed isn't my focus for Dirty Kanza, I'm hoping that maintaining these speeds while riding on big puffy balloon tires is building strength that will translate into a faster than otherwise pace in the race.

3) I love the Monster bike.  LOVE it.  It's light and fast and so cool looking, too.  Riding this bike after a year on my Hardrock (an entry-level MTB that, to be fair, has done everything I asked of it) is an object lesson in "you get what you pay for".  I'm positive that this bike gives me a MUCH better chance of finishing that my own bike would.

4) The typical What the hell was I thinking????? panic hasn't set in yet.  Right now I'm excited to be taking on a new challenge and looking forward to the experience.  I love the feeling of something epic on the horizon.  I'm so glad I'm going to be there.

Now...make sure and remind me of that on June 2. 


  1. Congrats on your anniversary, SuperKate! You looked gorgeous and the B&B is SO not my house either. That's what honeymooning is for!

    And I think you'll do quite well at the DK, armed with the Monster Bike and some adrenaline (and those are GOOD miles considering all that you've had going on with weddings and funerals etc.).

    Can you believe how close June 2 is? Wow!

  2. wow you are busy! Sorry about Jeff's Grandma. Never any fun.

    You're going to do awesome at Dirty Kanza. No doubt about it.

    I'm racing with Anne tomorrow. She asked if you do triathlons. I said you were more into longer events and did my home grown tri. We are thinking about trying to get a group to do a full IM in the fall of 2013. Interested???

  3. Been following your busy life on FB here and there. Glad the highs have helped balance out the lows. Happy Anniversary! Congrats on the graduates (and 3rd grader - I'll have one come Tue). So sorry for your family's loss and what a trooper to give up the "funnest day" for a family obligation. That's tough.

  4. you were a beautiful bride!!! and I love that your sons walked with you..very sweet

  5. Sorry to hear about your families loss. Such an amazing week despite...and many many many more amazing weeks to come!

  6. aha! June 2nd is the weekend I'm doing something I'm totally unprepared for too! How come when I sign up for these things it always seems like I have such a long time to train for them and then the day arrives in like a second and I'm shocked that it got here so fast.

    I'm sure we'll both have fun regardless :D

  7. SO SO happy that your bike is treating you so well! SO I can ride vicariously through you, of course :)

  8. So sorry about your grandmother. It sounds like all of your sons stepped right up.

    200 miles and a not uncomfortable butt sounds like an impossibility to me. I can't imagine doing 100 not sore yet.

    It's fun to see you so excited for yet another new challenge!

    When do you get out of school? We get out June 7 which is very early for us. I cannot wait! Although next year won't be nearly as sweet as this year so I don't know what my hurry is.

  9. Typical SuperKate sandbagging - can't wait to read about your DK success.

  10. Very sorry to hear about your husband's grandma. Never, ever easy.

    Glad you are loving the new bike! I think w/ mtn. bikes even more than road bikes, the investment pays off.

    You'll be ready come June 2!

  11. Aww, I am sorry about Jeff's grandma. You really have a lot on your plate right now. I was checking out the website for the Dirty Kanza and wow, how much fun does that look like? Glad you are enjoying the Cross bike!!!

  12. Your experience of racing for 24 hours at LBL will come back in the hardest moments of the Dirty Kanza and remind you how tough you are. You've got this :)

  13. You were such a gorgeous bride :) Happy anniversary!

    So sorry to hear about grandma. It's always hard to lose someone you love...even when it means they are no longer in pain, it's still hard.

    You are going to do great on your race, girl. GREAT.

  14. Happy Anniversary.
    Sorry for the loss.
    2 june is coming and you are ready, good luck!

  15. Oh my, up and down and all over the place this week. Sorry about your loss.
    You are a training machine ... the "What the hell was I thinking" moment(s) will come! It always comes!
    How is WI?

  16. Congrats on your anniversary and condolences on your loss. You will rock the Dirty Kanza - just like the rest of your awesome adventures;)

  17. I know that was a hard decision to make to keep him from that fun day, but I think you're right about the life lessons he was learning. I'm sorry for your loss. I hate funerals and death and dying. I wish it never had to happen. :(


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