Long time gone (and a winner)

First off, winners for the Race Across the Sky giveaway are Marcia, Patrick, and Kovas.  Email me your addresses, please, so I can pass them on to the publisher.

Otherwise, geez...it's been two weeks since I blogged about anything but the giveaway.  I barely know where to start.  Since we're trying to pay off all these crazy medical bills from Nathan's surgery, it's been a small summer.  Other than Jeff and J's trip to Colorado and my little trip to Kansas, we've stuck pretty close to home and enjoyed day trips and the benefits of our bikes and Y membership.  While my summer hasn't been too exciting (unless you count the excitement of looking at facebook pictures of what seems like everyone in the area's trips to Colorado this year), it has been full of peace of mind from not overspending.

So...in July, I...

Read books.  A lot of books.  Here's the list of what I remember reading in July:

Benediction (Kent Haruf) - Good, but a better read is Plainsong, by the same author.
Take a Seat (Dominic Gill) - OK, but better books about adventure by bike are Jill Homer's Be Brave, Be    Strong or Joe Kurmaskie's Momentum is Your Friend
Eat and Run (Scott Jurek) - Liked it, didn't love it.
In the Long Run (Jim Axelrod) - Good (thanks, Andrea!)
Storming Heaven (Kyle Mills) - Good
Race Across the Sky (Derek Sherman) - Good
Juliet, Naked (Nick Hornby) - Loved it. Got two more of his books at the library.
11/22/63 (Stephen King) - Loved it.
The Storyteller (Jodi Picoult) - Loved it.
The Man Who Cycled the World (Mark Beaumont) - Good (thanks, Aaron!)
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal  (Christopher Moore) - Loved it.

Ran. Training for the MO Cowbell half marathon in October has me actually being more consistent and training (that said, I skipped Wednesday's 6-mile tempo run and substituted a sluggish four today). All street running, all on my own.  I don't even know who I am, but I miss the trails and my friends.  That said, the gradual ramping up of mileage has been successful so far with few complaints from my hip.  Of course, 9 miles has been the danger zone, so I guess we'll see if the success continues in a couple of weeks.

His first road rash...
Rode my bike with Jacob. We've logged a lot of small commuting miles with a minimum of trauma. I think we only drove to the pool once; the rest of our trips have been via bike.  To the library, to the pool, to the local university for bowling...for that last trip I estimated the distance to be 4-5 miles.  Jacob told me, "Eh...as long as it's less than 12 miles it'll be fine." Love that kid!

Amazing how dirty you can get NOT riding your bike. Major singletrack wimpiness on display today. #mtb #bike #trails
Bringing a little of Lost Valley home with me.
Gone mountain biking. Call me the bipolar bicyclist.  One week I love it and feel confident (well, confident-er), the next I'm freaking out and walking things I've ridden plenty of times in the past.  In the past two weeks I've ridden our local singletrack twice and felt OK, ridden Lost Valley twice (had a great time the first ride and wanted to curl up in a fetal position on the second), and made a return trip to the Middle Fork section of the Ozark Trail.

Middle Fork...a rare non-rocky stretch. #mtb #ozarktrail
Middle Fork 
Isn't it pretty?  Most of it doesn't look like that.  I mean, it's beautiful there, but the majority of the trail is covered in rock.  I'd kind of forgotten that until we actually started riding, and then I rode with a knot of fear until I mentally warmed up (which seems to take considerably longer than the physical warming up).  Once I relaxed a little I started to have fun, and despite the fact that the guys regularly had to stop for me to catch up, I managed to hold my apologies to only one or two.  I'm so thankful to have friends who are patient and encouraging...and who keep inviting me even though they KNOW they'll be stuck waiting on me.

The things you find on an old #gravel road. #chevy #bike #middlefork
We found this cool old truck on the side of the road.
We rode about 12 miles down the trail and then took gravel roads back to the cars.  Thanks to all of the Dirty Kanza gravel training we did, I felt confident on this section and had kept up with my nutrition well enough that I still had plenty of energy.  We hopped back onto the trail for the last few miles, and of course the things that seemed so intimidating on the way in seemed much less scary on the way out.  I definitely want to get back down there and ride the whole trail.

Registered for a race. The Thunder Rolls 24 hour adventure race is in just three weeks.  After last year's river hiking, rappelling, yellow jacket fleeing, ascending failing, butt kicking good time, I couldn't bear to miss out.  Team Virtus is fielding two teams this year (and one new bet), so that means at least double the fun.

Made a list of all the upcoming races I want to do. Fall/winter is going to be an expensive time...good thing I saved so much this summer! Here's what I remember that I want to do in the next few months:

Aug. 24 - Thunder Rolls 24 hour adventure race
Sept. 8 - Cyclocross
Sept. 22 - Cyclocross
Sept. 28 - Berryman 12 hour adventure race
Oct. 5 - Cyclocross? (ok, that's probably not going to happen with the half marathon the next day)
Oct. 6 - MO Cowbell half marathon
Oct. 19 - Perfect 10 Rogaine (10 hour orienteering meet)
Oct. 20 - Ride the Rivers century
Nov. 10 - Skippo 30K trail race

You'll notice there are a couple of back-to-back events.  I probably won't race CX the day before the half marathon, but who knows.  I was all excited about doing the century on Oct. 20 -- it was my first century way back in 2009, and I still have never actually ridden a century on my road bike -- until I realized it was the day after the rogaine.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that.  I really want to do them both, but it would require a 2.5 hour drive back to the St. Louis area after racing for 10 hours so I could get up early the next day and ride 100 miles.  As much as I don't want to turn around and go home right after the race...it's kind of appealing to do something like that back-to-back.  So maybe I'll see what money looks like closer to October.  Regardless, in the next few months there'll be no shortage of things to write about!


  1. I'm reading the sequel to Momentum is YOur Friend - also good. I haven't done my usual summer traveling so I'll feel good about not spending too. Although I plan to spend some on something crazy in the near future. More to come! That back to back adventure sounds way like you! Sounds like way too much to me, but you. Just a walk in the park.
    Keep enjoying your summer with Nathan. All too soon it will come to an end.

  2. Sounds like a great summer so far!! Wow, those adventure races are hardcore :) ...as ajh says, it's totally you! Thanks for giving the titles of the books you read, I'll be getting a few of those!!

  3. holy batboy...sounds like a busy summer despite not going far. it also sounds fun and brings back wonderful memories from when I was kid riding my bike EVERYWHERE during the summer...them were the days!

  4. Sounds like a nice summer! The weather has been pretty nice too.

    Busy racing season you have planned for the fall. That will give you plenty of blogging material :-).

  5. Wow look at that fall schedule! Ill live vicariously thru you. Envious of all your reading. I used to read like that but havent in ages. Mayb this book will be a new beginning for me.

  6. The races you register for just make me shake my head!
    Great truck for a photo-op.

  7. You have a give-away about a little race in Leadville and you DON'T give it to me? We are NOT friends any longer!

    Ah, maybe I needed to enter to win. Like the lotto I always complain about not winning.

    You should pick a race out here in Colorado with your new-found summer money. :)


  8. That is a pack schedule for the fall!!!

    I have storyteller next...or the next after...my boys just went to Costco with Bill and got me the cuckoo's calling so that has to be next

    Juliet naked I want to read that one too

  9. That is quite the list of events!

    (Emailed you a couple of days ago, let me know if you didn't get it.)

  10. I ran the inaugural MO Cowbell Half! It was a really fun race and I loved the little community you go to run through. It was really cool.

  11. Thought of TV and the Thunder Rolls the other day while mowing the lawn. Got hammered by a yellow jacket. OWWW! Can't imagine how much that would suck during an adventure race - let alone multiple stings. Thanks to chemicals, if the race course goes through my yard, there is no longer any danger.



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