Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Catching Up and an EC Visit!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

So I know, it’s been a while since my last blog and my life just gets more complicated every week. Between riding, looking for employment and people coming in and out of my life….well, it just gets messy & emotional sometimes. I try not to get attached…self preservation I guess..but…well…U know me!

To bring you up to speed, I started self training for an endurance event coming up at the end of April. I rode my first 40 mile ride to prep for it. The event is 50 miles and 5500 feet of climbing. I did the 5300 feet so I am getting closer to my goal. I think the body part that hurt the most were my feet. My toes felt like they were broken and at about 28 miles I started cramping up in my legs.
I am experimenting a lot with my nutrition during these long rides. #1 Lesson I have learned: Perpetuem: SIP SLOWLY! Don’t ever suck this down if you are thirsty! I start to sip Perp at about 2 hours or so into the ride. If I drink it too fast or too much it makes me feel REALLY full and I start getting stomach cramps. I also changed from electrolyte tablets in my bladder to Heed. Which seemed to work even though it was sweet, I just needed a lot more water for 40 miles. So next time I will pack a lot more extra water and a few more packs of Heed to add in.

Why am I doing this? Riding for hours and hours is just a big, mental and emotional release for me. Being a very intense person, for some bizarre reason, this makes me relax and feel very satisfied at the same time. I know…go figure!

On a personal note, I snuck out for a quick visit back to the East Coast for a very long overdue visit to see my brother and another friend. It’s been almost 25 years since I have seen my oldest brother. Shame on me! It was an awesome experience and I wish I got to spend more time with him. I forgot how beautiful AND cold CT is! I got to site see, take a spin class to see how the EC teaches, have some fun (sorry…no personal details to protect the innocent!) and just enjoy running away for a few days. I highly suggest running away for a few days for EVERYONE once in a while.

Now back to reality………..Before I left I sent out a ton of resumes and made a bunch of calls and heard nothing back, so very disappointing. I am teaching spin every night this week so that keeps me sane. Hoping for a rain free weekend to get in some good riding too, but doesn’t look like that may happen. Looks like Friday and Sunday are only 30% chance of rain, and Sunday I am leading a club ride so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

March is just around the corner and I am not sure how the month is looking. I am hoping for new employment, I may be having a visitor, and I have some serious endurance training to accomplish. All of which truly scares & excites me too!

For links, I would like to recognize CORBA this week: CORBA is a nonprofit organization serving the mountain biking community of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas including southern Ventura County. They are dedicated to preserving open space, maintaining public access to public lands, and creating more trail opportunities for all to enjoy.

Until next time luvs……… good to yourselves, be kind and compassionate to all and even better to the people who care about you.

Be fabulous! WE

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011
Well…tonight I am writing my blog while watching the SAG awards here in LA sitting on my comfy couch drinking some Sterling Cab…a favorite wine of mine. Let me just say this…John Ham…..o my is he fine! Looks like beige, light rose and white are in for the women. They all look amazing. Hilary and Eva def get my best dress awards! Does Susan Sarandon EVER age?!

So another week another blog. This was a big spin week. 5 fun classes this week and 1 at a new private club. I am having so much fun with my Monday & Wednesday night classes. I have been getting 35 riders every class so it makes it incredibly fun with a full class! I have also added group sprint competitions and the riders are so loud they make the room shake! Nothing better than that!!

I was actively looking for employment this week as well and let me just say…’s both frustrating and disappointing. After being self employed for 20 years…finding my place in today’s work place is difficult. Is there a resume heaven? Does ANYONE actually read my emails when I write these amazing cover letters? Since I’ve had 4 jobs my entire life…well..I’m not sure WHAT employers think of me! But if they would just interview me…well………..I am convinced I would land virtually any job or a position within the company I interviewed for. So is there a secret to getting these companies to call you for an interview? Many of us would like to know!

So I had 1 amazing weekend of riding planned. Let’s talk about the good day first…Saturday! Well…I was meeting my girlfriend at her house to car pool to the trail head. My buddy, her hubby, fixed my bike so I was really looking forward to an amazing ride and everything working on my bike. I needed some mental & physical torture for some relaxation and stress relief so I was ready! I thought I would be too sore to do the scheduled club ride which was Gridley since I taught 5 spin classes, but I was feeling good when I woke up and was ready to put in some miles.

Well when we got to the trail head there was a good size group of all level riders making for a fun XC ride! There are no rest rooms at the trail head….so I needed to take off to the Ranger’s station before the ride to take care of business. I waited for everyone there, and then we started riding towards the fun BB descent. I was immediately into my own zone with some great metal blaring in my IPOD and I was gone. I was feeling really good and just didn’t look back. It was all about pedaling quickly pushing my heart rate but sustaining it and just having a blast!

Well…before I knew it I was at the bottom of the 1st big climb waiting for the group and starting to get cold. My radio was dead, so I thought, well, I’ll just relax, take my time climbing and meet everyone at the top. I usually climb with a playlist that is very relaxing since I always focus on “relaxing into the climb”. It definitely works and I am relaxed, but I just seem to just ride too slow. So I decided to switch it up and use my DH playlist which is only used for descents. Music on my DH playlist includes everything from Metallica, Megadeath, The Who and tons of AC/DC. This music relaxes me AND makes me feel committed at the same time. So it seemed to work great! A few of the switch backs that are a wee bit tight and I always struggle riding up, I rode up smoothly and quickly and was so shocked at the exit of the switchbacks I screamed out WAY 2 GO GIRL! I also moved my position way back on the saddle during the tightest part of the turn and FOCUSED hard on the exit by just staring at it.

Well, I pushed my heart rate 4 times past its max and raised it to 184, but for the most part kept it in check so I could ride longer and stay strong. So…made it to the top and I was still feeling good. I really wanted to keep riding, but since I didn’t have my radio, I didn’t want the others to worry, so I thought I’d better wait, and I was sure others would want to add on to the route.

Well, when everyone got to the top. 2 of my girlfriends were nice enough to work the car and lunch arrangement out so I could continue to ride and still have a way to meet everyone for lunch. Thank you girls…it made my day. (2 very unselfish friends who really allowed me to just do my thang and knew I needed it!)
The only rider I could convince was a rider on a Niner Single Speed who happened to win King of the Hill many, many times. So I had my work cut out for me to try and just keep him in my sight! So we continued to make the amazing, fun descent down back bone and let me tell you it was in AMAZING shape. And no…I didn’t make that darn tight switchback at the very bottom. The day I make that switchback going down…well…..there will be some champagne popping!

At the bottom of Backbone we proceeded to make the ride over to Overlook to start the next climb. As soon as we starting to ride towards the beach it was getting cold and windy. I was starting to regret my decision since this was all open fire road and a steep climb. We started the climb and I dropped in behind the Niner. My goal to keep him in my sight was blown in minutes. Very disappointing, but a quarter way up I was grateful I pushed myself.

The Niner was gone, but he was nice enough to wait a few times for me to make sure I was still on the trail. I stopped a few times to take in the breathtaking views and snap a picture of two. Then we started the second fun descent down Backbone.

I’m about half way down the trail and I hear my name getting called on the radio. I stopped to see what was up and apparantly someone else lost their radio and another rider was riding UP backbone to meet me with the radio. I put my pack back on and met someone climbing up waving at me and asking “are you Wendy?” He had the lost radio which apparently no one knew who it belonged too but I saw it on our North Ranch station and knew it was one of ours.

Well the Niner rider was at the bottom waiting for me to help me get through the tight switchback descent. I tried to follow his EXACT line…but I just stiffened up and ended up dabbing it. O well. I need a lot of practice on switchbacks! Well we continued riding to make the final climb back up the BB. I was really hungry at this point and I just had to stop and have something quick to make this last climb. So we started the final part of the ride and of course the Niner lost me in minutes…but riding up I ran into another girlfriend who had a bit of a disaster of a morning! She ended up riding back DOWN the BB after 20 plus miles looking for…….can you guess?! YES! A RADIO! Mystery of the radio now solved! So we rode back to the parking lot together. When we got back I checked my phone for a text from my girlfriends and they left car keys for me to take a car back to meet everyone for lunch.

So to conclude Saturday’s adventures….it was one amazing day!

Sunday…………..grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! I’m driving to the trail head to meet friends to ride Cheeseboro and it was drizzling pretty hard. Now here in Los Angeles, we are a wee bit of divas about riding in the rain…basically most of us just don’t do it. I didn’t even bother to check the weather because; well…it’s usually sunny out. So needless to say, we didn’t end up riding. I DID run into 2 amazing lady riders at the trail head and I was starting to feel REALLY wimpy not riding when they were! So to make a long story short…I chit chatted with a buddy for a wee bit…then drove home feeling a bit sorry for myself, changed BACK into my jammies and took a nap! Guess I needed it because it’s something I NEVER do! So for the rest of today I did something I also never do………….nothing! I would have liked to spend the evening with friends but everyone has so much going on in their lives right now it’s hard to make time for each other. Think a girls night out/happy hour may be in order!!!

So this week, I would like to recognize another link on my blog. Please check out Eliant Technologies: Even though this is a NON biking company, they are a company that assisted my business MANY times over the years with success and I highly recommend their services.

Have an amazing week everyone! I hope to see you in my spin classes this week and out on the trails! Please be good to yourselves, but be even BETTER to the people around you!

Until next time luvs….Be Absolutely Fabulous!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week 2....MUCH BETTAH!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

So this is the 2nd blog for me and it’s been a much less emotional week for me. My first blog was so personal and tough to write…However since I ended this week with such amazing experiences, let’s focus on that shall we? BIKING & FRIENDS!

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a club ride. With all the drama, harsh reality and negativity that has been going on in my life…I just didn’t want to be around a big group of people, so I stayed close to just a couple of my friends and only shared with them, what was going on. Sharing your troubles with your friends puts an enormous amount of burden on them too…So I have tried for once to keep things to myself but at the same time ask for help and direction from the people I have known the longest and who know me the best. I will leave their names out of it, but they know who they are and I love you and I am so very grateful you all are in my life. Thank you.

SATURDAY CLUB RIDE! The night before, I got a phone call that upset me a lot about the gym I teach at now requiring all instructors to use THEIR music to teach classes. I really let it get to me and it kept me up all night. Sometimes I struggle just to “shut it off”, and I didn’t handle this well at all because I know I will have to quit and try and find a boutique gym to teach at. So I am guessing I got maybe 2 hours of sleep but there was no way I was missing the club ride! I knew a ton of people I wanted to see would be riding AND parts of this ride were a new trail for me so I WAS NOT going to miss this ride!

Before I even got to the trail head I was pulled over for speeding…Not a good way to start off the morning. I was grateful that the officer just gave me a warning and even told me to have a great time on my ride.

Well…we started at a new section off of Mulholland. It started with a bit of a fire road climb to some ups and downs then dropping into the single track. This new single track was AWESOME! It was almost like someone had just groomed it for us! It was flowey, smooth and tons of fun! Then as soon as we hit the bridge…I recognized the next part of the trail. Uggg….here comes the climbing! This was brutal and not very forgiving. My chain got wrenched a few times and came off as well. I tend to double shift and that’s what happens. Not very finesse I am! So I had to stop a few times, put my bike upside down…get the chain unwedged to put back on. Really didn’t take that long. Well after the 4th time the chain came off…I started to lose my patience with myself and get a wee bit winey. I bit off more than I could chew FO SHO! I was EXHAUSTED! My heart rate had already passed its max at 182 at least 3 or 4 times and I knew it was gonna be a LONG ride. But damn if I wasn’t gonna get er done!

So I get to the 1st parking lot and the ride leader and another buddy are waiting for me to make sure I’m ok. Thanks luvs…..Then the next 5 miles or so were absolute torture. I was bonking and just not riding well because at this point I was just feeling sorry for myself and trying to suck it up and work through it. My seat post was giving me problems too…I noticed the cables were fraid…so that meant asking my buddy for YET ANOTHER favor. Grrrrrrrrrrrr!

So I get to the next parking lot and already see some of the riders climbing up the next sick single track and half way to the top, so……. I had to catch up! I decided to take a shorter, easier route up and try and catch them. At this point I was riding on pure determination and nothing else. Well I got to the saddle/drop in point and saw a few of my buddies and they said I missed the group by seconds! Damn! So I got a little excited thinking I just may catch up with them! Well after some fun, descents and sick water crossings…I was thinking about the climb back and getting concerned how rough it was going to be. I really wanted to finish the ride with everyone. I kept going and I got 5 minutes from the top and I tell you I had NOTHING left. I saw 2 of my girlfriends who I ride with a lot coming back and I just about cried when I saw them since I had been riding by myself for the entire ride and playing catch up. They saw the look on my face and immediately insisted I come back with them. (these 2 know me SOOO well and know when it’s time to take control of Wendy because at this point I had no control left!). I was quite grateful! Well…it was really rough at spots climbing back out, but there were also a lot of amazing long descents too! We finally got back to the 2nd parking lot and my girlfriend was nice enough to drive me back to my car so I wouldn’t have yet another 1000 feet of climbing to ride to get back to my car.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?!!!! DOH! Well………… I then had a wonderful lunch with some of the riders…then went to my friend’s house to pick up my Downhill bike and gossip. Even though the day was pure torture…it was a good kind of torture and I sure was happy!

SUNDAY DOWN HILLING! So I woke up this morning and saw it was REALLY windy out! Not good for mountain biking! The plan today was to downhill with da boys. I called one of them up and discussed my concerns with the wind so we changed our routes up a bit as to what would be most protected in the wind. Now a lot of this area I cannot mention the names of the trails…it’s the Down Hillers and Free Riders “sacred” area…so no trail names mentioned here today.

Soooooo, I can tell you I am lucky enough to have a few male friends who are not only some of the best riders around….but they are patient enough to let me tag along for the ride, wait for me and EVEN help me session some spots.

We started off with a short, fast, flowey single track that was just a hoot and blast to ride! I def need a warm up like that, so grateful I got it! No wind at all! Then we decide to make the push up to one of the more gnarly trails…at least for me. The push up was nasty because of the wind…but once we dropped into the trail…we were well protected. I got to film a lot on this trail since I am not able to ride some of it so that is always fun too! This trail has everything from slick rock, drops, boulders, lots of off camber stuff, you name it!
The 1st drop in was minimal compared to the other sick stuff they did! We came to a split where I normally go one way and the free riders go the other way. Today I went with them for part of it and filmed. They started this section with an enormous boulder huck then onto a small, fun jump. THEN…it got REALLY nasty! Big, huge slabs of boulders, tight corners, drops, loose dirt and more. I just watched in awe and very proud of my buddies…they are VERY talented! A wee bit crazy…but they have a tremendous amount of skill & confidence in themselves so I sure admire that!

So I talked them into going to another part where they had never been and I was comfy riding one of the routes…but NOT the route THEY chose! We walked it…discussed it….once we talked about the line I would ride…I thought…I can do this! So they positioned themselves along certain spots where I was a wee bit scared and they talked me through it. I rode the entire section without dabbing. (If you ride with me you know this is a HUGE accomplishment for me because I dab EVERYTHING!). I think I grabbed my heart at the bottom! Then I realized…what on earth was I so afraid of? That wasn’t bad at all! Sometimes biking for me is a complete mind #@#$%*&^!

So ALL THAT was my weekend! It was the BEST part of my week and WHAT a way to end it! Riding and teaching spin classes have been what are getting me through the entire BS of my life. It’s what truly makes me happy. I am also so very grateful for my friends and I can’t thank them enough. They fix my bikes, wash my bikes, make sure I’m not depressed, yell at me when I need it, see that I am focused on doing the right things and not wasting my time…and on and on and on……..mmmmmwwwwaaaaaaa!!!

Please check out each of the links on my page. These are all special to me. This week I want to feature 1 amazing biker and what she is doing. Jen Roop. Please go to her link and support her fight against cancer!

Thanks for listening luvs! Have an amazing week…keep your chin up, we are all going through tough times and please remember to not only be good to yourselves…but be even better to the people who love and care about you!

Until next week…………BE FABULOUS DAWLINGS!


Friday, January 14, 2011

My first blog in the year of we go!

Friday, January 14, 2011
Hello luvs! Well, I’ve decided to start a blog again since this is such a significant year of change for me. One of my house mates thought it was a good idea as well. As my close friends know, I am very expressive….. Not a shy bone in my body. One of my dearest friends describes me as very overwhelming when you first meet me…but in a good way! Writing about my life always helps me work things out too, so here we go again. I hope you enjoy reading this and following my life and what will happen next!

I am leaving the world of self employment after 20 years and looking to get back into the work force. Today was my last day at my business. This was by far one of the most emotional weeks I have ever had. Saying good bye to staff was the hardest as well as customers and vendors who have been with me for 20 years.

Today liquidators came in and took the remaining items that were in my warehouse. Watching 20 years of your life walk out the door has been just brutal. I had to walk outside many times and take deep breathes and remind myself that I was doing the right thing. The last few days was all dismantling and boxing things up. Now I can’t park in my garage with everything I kept, but that’s the next project! The garage!

So what do I do now?! Well, let’s start with this weekend……for those of you who don’t me, I teach spin class a few nights a week. Tomorrow, Saturday I am getting trained and tested to teach on my favorite spin bikes the Real Ryder Bikes. Then Sunday is my day to hit the dirt! Going to ride the 1st part of the day, then look for employment!

So what kind of job does someone look for after being self employed for 20 years? Do people think I am hire able? What am I worth? Can I can take direction from someone else? I guess only people who have been self employed can answer that one! The answer is YES! I would KILL to not have the final word/responsibility! To actually get a paycheck every week?!!! PAID VACATIONS?! SICK DAYS?! I’m SOOOO IN! Or……………….do I apply for a grant and at the young ole age of 46 go back to school? Can I even retain anything anymore?

Being self employed has both given me everything and also taken everything from me. It just goes with the game of self employment. These past 5 years have been the most changing years of my life. I got divorced, closed my business, witnessed death, found myself again, started a new circle of friends and discovered the new love of my life….mountain biking. This has been the BEST addition to my life. It has given me the ability to take everything out on the trail at such a level of intensity it actually put’s me at complete ease and makes me happy. I feel like I can conquer anything after a ride. The friendships I have received and gone through from biking…well….that’s a whole nother blog in itself! But I can tell you for the most part it’s been absolutely wonderful. I have met BOTH men and women who have become a close part of my inner circle in every part of my life and I am so very grateful for them. They know who they are so no need to mention names.

Men………! Honestly, there’s really not that much to tell!

Ok, so I think that is quite enough for the 1st blog entry to bring you to speed. I have quite the busy weekend and the employment hunt begins next week. O and by the way…feel free to ask for my resume and interview me because I am absolutely fabulous!!! Until next week luvs…be good to yourselves but be even better to the people around you!

Be fabulous!