Wednesday, April 1, 2020

My New Ride

Just in time for spring and Easter, I got my new bike together! It's light gray, pink, white and oil slick, and I'll be bunny hopping all over on my "Easter Bunny". Yes, I named my bike. 💓😀 The other day, Jon Van Pelt with BMX Custom Builds featured it on his Facebook page, along with photos and specs, and I'll be sharing it here as well.

Also, a really BIG thank you to John Williams, who built my bike from the ground up and to Brent Sterriker with Striker Wheels out of Austin, TX for building my wheel set. This is by far my favorite wheel set I have ever owned, and I couldn't be happier to get to use this on another build.

With all the bunnies hopping about our yard recently, this seemed like the perfect photo!

Okay, let's get to the deets: 

  • SSquared CEO V2 Pro XL 
  • Answer Dagger forks
  • TNT oil slick finish hubs with oil slick themed spokes laced to Sun Ringle hoops by Striker Wheels
  • Shimano DXR cranks
  • Supercross pro stem
  • Elevn bars
  • Box braks
  • Answer brake cable
  • Vans grips
  • Tangent seatpost
  • Stay Strong seat
  • Box seat post clamp
  • Chris King headset
  • carbon spacers
  • Power Block tires
  • Shimano DXR pedals are some pictures of the Easter Bunny 😎💪 heehee! 

I hope you enjoyed checking out my new ride. I've been loving it lately and will be having lots of fun on it! If you have a custom build, let me know and I'd love to check yours out as well. 😀

Monday, March 30, 2020

First Weeks of Spring

Happy springtime! 

I know with the Coronavirus running rampant, it’s not the spring I was envisioning in my head all winter (and I'm sure you weren't either), but I am determined to find joy in our newly warmer weather. By now I believe the BMX tracks in the Midwest would be opening and welcoming riders onto the track, but with the pandemic, the tracks are closed except for a few riders around the country I’ve seen on Facebook. The parks here (and from what I can gather, Houston, too) seem to be having the opposite problem, with too many people packed in and not enough social distancing. I want this over as quickly as possible, so I am doing my best to stay away from the parks, opting instead to run around my subdivision for a few miles almost every day. While my first winter in the Midwest was not very fun, my first Spring here is turning out to be amazing.

Recently, a friend and teammate helped me put together my new ride for the year, and I’m really liking it. It originally had a BRIGHT neon pink and black color scheme, and I quickly realized that I’m not into that much flash, so after a few days of consideration I took the stickers all off and am opting instead for a little tamer color combo - still pink but a touch lighter. Hopefully my new sticker pack arrives soon; I’m so excited to put them on and take some photos.

Another thing that has popped up with a stay at home order is more use of Facebook. Even though I like to use it to keep in touch with far away family and friends, I will admit that I’m not really a fan of Facebook in general. It’s a time suck, so many pages dedicated to hobbies seem like a pissing contest and a place for people to talk crap, all the while professing their intense dislike of drama, and most days you can’t scroll down your feed without something divisively political (and nowhere near educated) jumping out. Because of this I’ve been staying off Facebook as much as I can, snoozing certain pages, and doing projects around the house after work instead. I’ve got a few fun projects lined up, so hopefully soon I can start.

I hope you guys are all doing okay, I know that social distancing is harder on some than others, but stay strong, because we will all get through this. The faster we all properly social distance and stay at home, the faster we can get back to our regularly scheduled programs, lol! I don’t know about you guys, but I am looking forward to seeing my family, friends and coworkers again, as well as going to races.

Much love!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Big Sur Update and the Coronavirus

Well, our marathon is officially postponed. 

Today the race coordinators of Big Sur posted on their website that the Big Sur Marathon will be postponed (with more details to follow). With everything going on with the Coronavirus, I'm SO glad it just wasn't cancelled. This is the best situation possible at the moment!

Our BMX national, the Spring Nationals in Albuquerque, NM has also been postponed. I am beyond grateful to the USABMX and the Big Sur organizers for making the tough but safe choice, and despite our fears and a super rocky start to 2020, I'm looking forward to a fun Summer of BMX and running. After all, besides taking preventative measures and avoiding crowds (and perhaps NOT mean buying up all the toilet paper and water around), what else can we do? This is very scary, but I won't live my life out of fear. I also won't be flying or going anywhere crowded until it's under control. 

Saturday long run with my awesome run club is also off, not because of Coronavirus, but because of my toe. Two days ago I hit my little toe on something in the house while I was switching out some laundry in the evening, and it's swollen and black and blue. I'm not sure if it's broken but it will definitely be a few days of not being in any shoe other than my Uggs. Hopefully it heals up soon. My coworker told me to tape it, but I don't know anything about that so it's something to look into. 

Also, for the first time in what I can remember, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was cancelled. It makes sense though. There will always be people complaining about missed concerts, and not that it matters at all, but you can't please everyone, and I'm sure that's not the CDC's main concern. I'm glad measures are being taken. And for the first time in...well, ever, Starbucks doesn't have the world's longest line in the mornings. It seems most people are taking this virus seriously, and everywhere I go there seems to be a sort of nervous energy in the air.

The situation isn't ideal, but all we can do is try to keep ourselves healthy and wait it out. The St. Patrick's Day party at our friend's house this weekend will also most likely be marked off the schedule as well, super bummer. I know there are some who are trying their best to continue to go out, etc., like everything is fine, but this is something I'm willing to be proven wrong about later. Everyone stay safe! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

And With That, No More Marathon

A few weeks more to go till Big Sur and yet another curve ball came our way.

With concerns over the Coronavirus, as well as non-essential plane travel being discouraged by just about everyone, it is with an extremely heavy heart that Yuan and I have decided to pull out of the Big Sur International Marathon this year. Currently, the marathon itself is still a go, even though 40+ entrants are from outside the country and most likely can't go either.

To be honest, I'm really bummed that there is still a huge push from the race promoters to continue on with it; it feels like a slap in the face to all the organizations, companies and others who are willingly limiting their own travel in favor of their own sense of social responsibility. I'm also feeling a ton of FOMO, but we are planning on running this race again in a year or two. I love the Big Sur Marathon, and I'm really beside myself right now, especially after fighting through the winter blues, ice and treadmill time to get those miles in.

Regardless, Yuan and I don't feel like going would be a good idea at this point, especially since we would need to fly into northern California, where new cases are still popping up. I have been looking forward to this race for an entire year, but it's not worth possibly exposing ourselves to this virus and bringing more than a medal back home with us.

I'm not gonna lie, I will probably be crying my eyes out on race day, but for now I'm going to stay strong, keep running, and remind myself that there will be another Big Sur Marathon in our future in a year or two.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Slowly Inching Toward My Goal...Slow is Objective...Right?

Well, here we are almost 2 months out from marathon race day, and HELLO from the once freezing arctic circle making up the entirety of the bible belt! (Insert any song from Frozen here.) 😋 The last few weeks have been above freezing, and I never thought I'd get to the oddly strange point of bragging that we have a "heat wave" at 45-50 degrees. You all will think I'm out of my mind by saying that- 50% of the "no duh, it's February!" variety, and the other 50% not wrapping your minds around a winter of much below 50 degrees. I get you. I was the latter for the most part, until this year. But enough of my mind-blowing and repetitive "actual" cold weather lament. In other super exciting semi-worthy news...

Race day seems to be creeping up with the ferocity of a hardcore caffeine lover in the Starbucks drive thru on a Monday morning. In less than 2 months I'll be on a plane to Silicon Valley with Yuan, making the short drive down to Big Sur to run 26.2 miles (mostly uphill) until I cry (and keep running, because this race is majorly timed). I've managed to keep my newly discovered (re-discovered?) positivity, and am working on building on that, living in the moment and embracing the uncomfortable aspects of distance running pain versus distraction from it. I also discovered that (thanks to my boyfriend) wireless headphones, a full battery and a good podcast have become my new best friend, and I fully intend on sharing some of those favorites here when I can build up a pretty decent list. I also plan on sharing a Monday(ish) weekly training re-cap, especially since I'm actually getting some decent mileage back in my legs these days.

THIS marathon! (source)
So far I've been able to get a few longer runs in at the park, ranging from 8-10 miles and I'm super happy about that, especially since the park is hilly. I do realize that treadmills have elevation options, and while I use them I truly believe you can't beat the surprise of a good old fashioned hill, especially toward the end of a run when I have a hard time bringing my finger to hover over, and actually press, a higher elevation number on the 'mill. Plus, running outside gets me mini-adventures, such as seeing the coolest white-tailed deer up close and so much else; it keeps those long runs new and ever-changing. Yay for mini-adventures!

Having a mini-adventure last week. Life hack: 
The hand on hip pose can help convey sass and a laid back attitude while in actuality you're gasping for air. 
Remember that one.😎 
Inside, the Woodway is my very best friend, and the way that thick tire-rubber type belt feels underfoot is unparalleled, especially compared to other treadmills. The Woodway puts a pep in my step like no other. When KC Endurance closes for good on March 20th I will be one sad, sad girl, but until then I'm enjoying every moment and living my post college loan-paying version of bon vivance (a.k.a. best life) on what I would NEVER dare call a DREAD-mill. 🙊

I hope you guys are having a good week so far. We are looking forward to some visitors over the weekend, so I'm over the moon about that. I also got about 6 hours of sleep the other day, so I'm happy-tired, my eyes are burning and the matcha-green-tea-super-fancy-latte (with coconut milk) I desperately grabbed after a work meeting at the local Starbucks won't even work. Also, apparently the Starbucks had a scary run-in with a mad customer that almost escalated into them calling the police; this was right before I pulled into the drive thru line, so they were understandably shaken up. If you've ever worked any kind of retail you get how badly some people will act in public. I felt horrible for them.

Tonight's training plan calls for 3-4 easy miles tonight and that's what it's getting, along with a newly burning desire to go to bed at 9 p.m. Who would've thought that would be harder than the mileage?!

We all know this logic.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Well, That De-Escalated Quickly!

For me, as well as many others, the weather can take a direct toll on our emotions. Despite my steely resolve to remain the happiest person on the trails, a consistently harsh, bitter midwestern cold coupled with thoughts of an impending marathon coming up WAY too fast had me freaking the heck out, to be honest. For a little while I was considering dropping down to the half, but having some truly good friends in my corner who selflessly and kindly encouraged me to keep going kept me from doing that. I'm beyond glad to have them in my corner. HAPPY HAPPY BITHDAY to Tiffany b.t.w.! If you're reading this I hope you're having an amazing time in Hawaii. Miss you girl.

Also, the sun came out.

Last weekend the heat rose to a blessed 60 degrees (after so many months of 20 it felt like the world was on a nice, fiery sizzle- and I was LOVING it), so I hightailed it out the door as fast as I could and ran 10 of the most introspective miles I've had in a long time. I knew that on Monday it was going to be close to 70, so I took off a half day at work, went to the park and ran an additional 8 miles on sore legs while listening to one of my favorite podcasts- and it hurt SO good! Those two days of beach-like respite were what I desperately needed to really get it in my head that I could run this marathon. Big Sur, you heard me! I'm coming for you. And your long uneven roads, too....(insert witch cackle here)!

Out there on the trail, I concentrated with the moment, really being present, being there during every jagged breath, every ache, every drop of sweat. I wasn't wishing I was somewhere else or thinking of anything in the future, I was just...there. I wholly decided to work with what I could control, and work around what I couldn't. Having that perspective changed those runs in a way I wouldn't have thought possible just a month ago. For the first time in a long time I was enjoying myself! I wasn't using internal negative talk to put myself down every chance I got. My "you SHOULD be doing.." thoughts transformed into "you GET to do this". Not only did I do myself a favor (this world's tough- we don't need to be tough on ourselves too!), but I even had stretches where I ran faster or longer than I thought I could.

Getting back in shape is challenging, but it's part of the cycle, since rest periods need to be taken. It's back down in the 20's today, feeling like 5 degrees, and my boyfriend and I are SO lucky that we have a studio right now with top of the line treadmills to run on. That means 4 miles tonight! I'm starting to feel okay about slow and steady progress, and I am truly enjoying the process. I'm beyond tired though; 7 hours of sleep a night just doesn't cut it anymore...or really ever for me, lol. Time to adjust and go to bed earlier.

Looking forward to another weekend of warmth (and dreaming of Summer)! Fingers crossed!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Impending Marathon Freak Out Time

I'm officially feeling it - marathon freak out, in ALL its glory. It's gotten slowly better, but still, ugh. As the days and weeks count down to Big Sur, a.k.a. the hardest race I've ever done, and I'm forced to skip yet another long run Sunday due to staying out late at night to make others happy and be a good friend (I know, it was my own decision, and I won't do it again). We had a wedding to go to on Saturday, and one of Yuan's friends flew in from out of state for it. It was so awesome to get to see her, so when it came time to leave the venue for a warm living room, and she wanted to stay out later, I thought that it wouldn't be so nice to say no and go home, so we all walked from the venue downtown to a karaoke bar to hang out and watch the actors from a play that just let out sing a little. It was nice and chill, until we were presented with shots. After declining the first and second shots and not wanting to decline a third, Yuan and I got our Uber and made it back to the house in record time. 

Staying out late was a good change, but it's really not for me the majority of the time. I'm a get to bed early so I can run on Sunday, or just generally function like a non-vampire, type of gal. When we got home I started internally freaking out about all of the training challenges this winter, and started seriously thinking about going down to the half, even to the point of laying in bed staring at the ceiling for an hour. A bit later I ended up messaging my friend Connor, and he gave me the positive encouragement I needed, along with a similar race for him. In the end I felt a lot better about still trying to run this marathon, even though I don't think the stress of it will go away until I'm over that finish line in under 6 hours.