Monday, May 12, 2014

Goldilocks Century

Saturday I rode my very first ever century bike ride. It's a 100 miles on a road bike. Me and my friend Lisa Calderwood signed up for it a few months back, and I've spent the past 8 weeks on an intense training schedule. My weekly mileage increased steadily, until I rode 70 miles a few weeks ago. That 70 mile bike ride was tough. It was raining and windy, I had no support, and was riding in the mountains with a lot of hills.
I was looking forward to riding with other women (it's a women's only ride), and utilizing all of the rest stops. I also figured that even though the 70 miles was the most I could handle, this 100 miles would be different, since I could draft behind people part of the time.

The night before any big day is always restless for me. At 4am I got up to eat breakfast, giving myself plenty of time to be fueled for a 7am start time. Lisa picked me up at 5am, and we made it to the starting line by 6am. That hour before the start time flew by! Before I knew it, it was time to take off.
I started riding with Kristen Bellows. We were among other women going similar speeds, but lost most of them at the first rest stop. The first 55 miles were great. I was taking turns pulling and drafting with Kristen and this other girl named Sarah. At that rest stop (55 miles), we turned around and headed back north. (by this time Kristen was going a little slower, and we left her behind)

The headwind was insane! It was necessary to ride with other people, or I ended up working twice as hard. I tagged along with a Papa Bear for a while, which was nice, because then I didn't have to take turns pulling. Unfortunately, he had to come to the rescue of another woman, so most of the way back into the wind was taking turns.

It really amazed me when I saw women riding close to other riders, but not close enough to take advantage of the windbreak you can get by riding right on someone else's tail. I was all for doing as little extra work as possible.

Lunch was the 4th rest stop, at 72 miles. By that time the idea of a turkey sandwich didn't sound appealing to me at all, so I stuck with watermelon and cantaloupe. Right before Sarah and I were ready to head out, we saw two women we had initially ridden with before that first rest stop. The ladies in Red were going our same speed, and I knew we would still have a lot of headwind to face. So as soon as they took off, I made the extra effort to catch up with them.

The four of us (ladies in Red, and Sarah) rode the next 15 miles together. For some reason, they didn't have another rest stop until mile marker 95, which meant there was a 23 mile gap after lunch. I had really been drinking a ton of water to try and prevent dehydration. There was no way I could ride another 8 miles without stopping to use the restroom. So I decided to stop at Walgreens, and realized I would lose my riding party for the biggest hill (with headwind) coming up.

As I started back up, I was a little deflated mentally. The hill looked so long, and I knew that it would take a ton of extra energy to make it up. I was just chugging along, when all of a sudden a random old guy on a bike passed me. He was only going a little bit faster than me, so I immediately pulled behind him. I was like night and day! I was able to easily ride up the hill at a 10mph pace, where moments before it was taking all my energy to go 8mph.

At the last rest stop (95 miles), I caught back up to Sarah and the girls in Red. I was still feeling good, and finished strong.

I spent 7 hours and 25 minutes on the course. I used Strava, so I know my actually moving time was closer to 6 hours 30 minutes. That was right in my goal range.
Joe and the kids were at the finish line to cheer me on, and give me some pretty roses. I sure felt loved!
In the future I'd definitely like to ride another century. There are so many to chose from in Utah! For the next few months I'll just ride my bike for fun (mountain and road), and maybe do another organized ride in the fall after Swiss Days. I really need to focus on catching up on my doll furniture building, since I've fallen behind. Time flies!

** Once the professional photos become available, I will add them to this blog post

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

On the brink of change

It's hard to believe that my little girl turned 12 today. I can remember the day like yesterday, when they told me at the hospital but she was ready to go home with me. I was scared, thinking "can I really do this"? Wondering, but if I do things totally wrong? Of course I have done many things wrong, but overall she has turned into a wonderful young woman despite of it. Yes, she is a typical tween. She can go from Sweet, loving, and helpful. To a little demon, in two seconds flat. I remember when I was 12. Just going from believing my parents knew everything, to thinking I knew it all myself. The coming six years scare me to death, just the same as that day at the hospital when I was able to take her home for the first time. This is when I think to myself, have I done enough? Will she make the right choices for herself? Will she make the right kind of friends, that will help her to making these good choices? And even if she does, will she still make the right choices? Because good friends don't necessarily mean good choices. I hope I can be a good friend to her as well as a good mother. That she will come to me for questions and concerns. And that she will love me, through all of the periods that she might hate me. All the while I think about her growing up, I must remember that she still is a little girl. That is one of the hardest things with younger siblings, the older ones always seem to get the faster. But when you look back at pictures, you realize they were still little themselves. 

As part of each child's birthday, they get to choose what they want to eat that day. Winter requested breakfast in bed. And she also wanted to eat sushi. Again, such grown-up things to want. 
I love this little girl, she is so sweet and talented. She exceeds in pretty much anything she puts her mind to. She is smart, and works hard at school. She excels in music with cello, violin, piano, and any other instrument she tries her hand at. She can be very sweet to her brothers and sisters, and helpful with the babies. My hope for her is, that this time with the small babies will help her to want to become a mother herself someday. And that it will help her see that it is not all fun and games.

Here is to a new start of the new chapter in my life. Scary life of teenagers, but also rewarding hopefully. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Eggs and snow

Winter is knocking on the door. The season that is. We have had a few small snowstorms  each time we get a few inches and it only lasts for a few days. I can't wait for a snowstorm that dumps 4feet of snow overnight!

The chickens finally started laying eggs a few weeks ago, and they are beautiful and delicious!
We get about 8-10 eggs per day, which is on the high side for us, so I have started selling them. It's a good way to recoop some of the money we spend on food. 
Miles is the biggest fan of the chickens. It's super cute when he goes out to play with them. I don't know if they think he's a rooster or what, but if he chases after them, they will kind of squat the same way our Texas chickens did when the roosters came to "service" them. Then Miles can just pick them up easily. 

When the weather was still nicer, Miles also liked to sit in the dirt where the chickens take their dust baths. Not such a pleasant smell when he came back in the house!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I really wish I haven't gotten out of the habit of writing on this blog. When I don't write down what I do, I forget. And so much has happened in the last nine months. We had summer vacation, when we went to Texas. A new school year started. And last but not least, I had another baby. Chase was born in October almost a week late. His birth story probably deserves it's own blog post. It's hard to believe that he's almost a month old. It has been fun to see how Miles loves being a big brother. He comes up to Chase and give him kisses and hugs, and asks to hold him often. My recovery has been longer than I expected, but I am finally starting to feel a little bit more like myself again. Of course my scale doesn't make me happy, but I knew this was coming when I signed up for another baby. Going anywhere with essentially two babies is not easy. So I have been hibernating in my house. I don't think I was ever the scared with winter and Sterling to leave the house. It just seems like there are germs and sickness hiding everywhere in plain sight. I have had great support from my friends and people in the ward, which is been really nice. So for the sake of family history I will try to keep writing on this blog, even though Facebook has taken overs the Internet. And no, I don't think anybody still reads this. But I will be able to be back, and that's the most important part.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bull Trout camping trip

Living in Utah has given us the opportunity to do a lot of camping. This means I have go make it as comfortable as possible. Tent camping has never bothered me, but I did have to get a good mat. With that, and a good warm sleeping bag and earplugs, my nights were amazingly good. I mean, I had to get up in the middle of the night to pee, but that happens at home too.

We went on a 5 day trip to the Idaho mountains with my sister and her family. The mountains and lakes were beautiful, and we had tons of time to relax, fish, swim, and hang out.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


I'm almost halfway done with this pregnancy, which is insane to think about. I think I've been in denial, as an emotional protection (in case of miscarriage). So now that I'm starting to look pregnant, and feel the baby move, it's a fun reality.

He has already mastered the yoga pose Halasana (Plow Pose)
It will be fun for Miles to have a brother so close in age (20 months).

Saturday, May 18, 2013

7 days of construction

It's been a LONG week, but I've made a TON of progress since my last post. That chicken coop post was of the progress from the first day. Of course I had grand intentions of chronicling each days progress, but then at the end of the day I would be completely wiped out. So instead I'll just show the progress by day:

Day 2
 Earl helped me construct and install the walls. The wall installation was one of the most tedious tasks. We had to make sure that everything was level and plum (who knows what that even means?).

 The trusses were built. For some reason I felt such a pride in the fact that I could make trusses! I mean, it's not rocket science, yet it's something that does seem complicated and important.
Day 3:
After 2 long days of working, I was not looking forward to another full day of labor. However, I knew that I need to get as much done as possible, with Joe being home (saturday) Look at those beautiful trusses! I could build myself a house! (well, maybe)
 To keep the trusses in place, we used hurricane ties. Sounds pretty hardcore doesn't it?
 With the roof and walls put on, this was starting to look like a mini house!
 In order for the chickens to keep laying eggs through the winter time, it's important that they get at least 14 hours of light. So we decided to install a light on a timer. Joe's the master electrician
I am rarely so happy to get a Sunday. A good excuse not to work, but rest!

Day 4:
Didn't get a lot done, as I was feeling pretty worn out, even after a day rest. I did create the first nesting box. Those hens better use them!

Tuesday I was still feeling burnt out, so decided to take the day off. And that means off from everything. Except watching TV shows and cuddling with Miles. It's actually kind of funny.  Miles is my least cuddly baby, but around day 3 or 4 he would just walk on to a piece of plywood I was trying to mark, and sit down. As a sort of protest. He wanted and needed attention.

Day 5:
The windows arrived, and I started on the trim, so progress seemed extremely fast. All of a sudden you can start to see what it might look like. This day was very rewarding.

Thursday Joe had the day off work, and we spent it working on the garden. Yes, I know I'm crazy for taking on 2 such large projects, but they both just had to happen. We got all the gardenn beds rototilled, and new top soil spread out.

Day 6:
Although the front of the coop was trimmed out on day 5, the sides and back still needed to be finished. It took pretty much all day to get the little trim pieces on, and install the nesting box lids.
Day 7:
I had planned to prime today, but it was raining in the morning. So I spent the morning finishing the roosting boxes and plank. Then we took a little bowling brake, after which the weather had cleared up, so I got to prime after all.  It sure looks better from far away!!
Although the coop looks almost done, my to do list still seems unbelievably long. I have to paint, caulk, install roofing, make feeders and a waterer, make the run, finish the electrical, and hopefully get Joe to design an automatic door opener. The chicks are getting big fast, so I'd like to get them into the coop as soon as possible. Of course they can move in before the run is complete, so that takes the pressure off a little bit.

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