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

So…so 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.

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One Response to Life and Dirty Kanza training

  1. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. It is always so hard.
    Love your gorgeous wedding pics! What a pretty bride you were, Kate!
    You will do great on the ride! After all, you’re SuperKate!

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