Tuesday, May 29, 2012


That was awesome! But I wasn’t always thinking ‘This is awesome’ at the time. In fact for a good portion of it was thinking ‘What the halibut did I just sign up for?!’
The first  11 miles…
The start was very different than most, because we started off with the team.  My team is 3 men from Ohio and a man originally from London (which I learned yesterday) but now resides in Philly, and myself.  I wasn’t sure what to think when we started.  Who would I be riding with? Should I try to keep up? Does it matter if I come in dead last?
I was super worried about coming in dead last, and then they called GO!  I stayed with the guys for about .25 of a mile and then I was on my own for the entire course.  It was normal single track until we hit the pile of people celebrating and cheering the riders on.
The first 3 miles were up hill
 The crowd was in the center of a 1.5 mile dirt bike section with trick hills and tires to get over! Not to mention they were playing “Bicycle” by Queen… on repeat.   This was at mile 3, and at that point I was not bee bopping to the sweet melodies and joyous cries from the crowd.  I get it! I’m on my bike!... You wanna ride, you say?!?! Take my place?!  This was the beginning of a slow and treacherous uphill climb. Or shall I say, walk.    The next mile and a half  was a very technical uphill single track battle with my bike.  I had the ‘gopro’ helmet which added 3x the weight of the helmet to my head, and it was slipping back pulling my hair.  I was getting very frustrated, and with not being a skilled technical rider I was making silly mistakes that were knocking me off my bike left and right. I knew that I had the muscle to at least make the climb…BUT THERE WERE SO MANY ROCKS! Who put them there?!
I would hit a rock sending my front tire off to the side, dismounting me from my bike and losing my momentum.  Then, I would hop back up on my bike and start again, going uphill, gain some momentum and loose it all in the same manner.  I think the frustration was also brewing in the fact that this was an 11 mile race, so I was gung hoe on going fast.  I could take my time on the 43 mile rides, but this was a time trial and I was going nowhere.
Finally, I got through that section to find a beautiful downhill road! I double checked my heart rate, making sure it was between 160 and 175, and I cruised down!!  That is when I started having fun.  I finally got my legs and the rest of the race was a fun battle with rolling single-track, rocky sections, and fun climbs. 

I started an small uphill climb which opened up to THE FINISH!! Everyone was cheering and all I had to do was ride around the lake and not fall in.  I didn't fall in, Thank God. Though, I'm sure it would have been a relief, giving the heat.  
I pulled into the finish line and realized it was all just beginning. THAT WAS AWESOME!!

OH. P.S. - I almost forgot.  at one point a rider pointed out that my handle bars were getting extremely close to the live electric fence the trail was following.  for 2 miles, i avoided electric shock my 5 inches.  This is the real Tough Mudder BABY!!


Packing was terrible!  A horrible packer in general and I was so nervous about what to bring! It’s summer camp meets extreme physical competition. I was not worried about what clothes to pack, but I didn’t know what types of food to bring with me. I know I need gues and gels. I’m used to one 15 -20 mile race a week.  What quantity of food will suffice for one 30-40 mile race everyday for a week?

I am also very worried about my salt intake.  (People with CF sweat out a larger amount of salt than the average no CFer Joey Shmoey.  In the summer, I am a favorite at the bird exibit at the philadelphia Zoo.  The birds, who usual feed out of nectar cups you can hold out, usually just feel off the salt on my skin.) But I digress, I couldn’t find ‘salt pills’ anywhere. I checked all the local pharmacies, Walmart, Target, CVS, Rite Aide.  No one even knew what I was talking about.  My mom used to get me ‘salt tablets’ which were just a pill made of straight table salt.   I used to take them after any sweat fest, like a softball game, or after gym class.  I haven’t taken them in a long time.  Now I just eat gratuitousness amounts of salt in and on my foods.  I can monitor it that way.  However, on an endurance week like this, I won’t be eating the quantities of salt that I will be losing, so I need a supplement.
When I got to the campsite, Seven Mountains Campsite, I figured I would just eat all the chips and salty pretzels and keep up the intake of Gatorade.  Lucky for me, the entire race is sponsored by a company that makes ‘heed’ an electrolyte drink supplement.  FREE SALT FOR A WEEK! I am so relieved right now.  My one serious nutrition concern has been answered and I feel at peace…for now!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Oh boy. 

I must have been on a Mudder high when I was interviewing for the documentary they are making about the tsEPIC.  I told the shooter, Kurtis, that I wasn’t nervous any more!
I wasn’t, at the time, because I completed the Mudder’s monkey bars.  The monkey bars took about 45 seconds and all of a sudden I was feeling like I could trump the weeklong race they call the ‘EPIC’ ! It’s not called an epic for nothing!!

This happened when I met up with Kurtis, the film guy, and Kristin, the bike lady for a prerace capture and a fitting for the bike! You should see the bike!!! (look down <3) 

I got my new ride!!!! She’s a black beauty filled with matt love and hydraulic protection!  I picked her up on Tuesday, and I can’t stop peddling!!! After the filming, we went for a ride and ended up meeting with Jesse and some other team mates along the way!

(I am rocking the old uniform to preserve the new one) 
Dan, Kristin, Me, Jesse, and Buddy, (sorry buddy, I forgot your name!!) 

Right now, I am packing and I am getting more and more excited.
My phone is a buzz with emails and phone calls from team mates and room mates and in mates! (bahaha play on words, no actual inmates have emailed me). 

I have everything I need, but I am a little nervous about the heat.  It is supposed to be in the 80’s! The hotter it gets, the more salt I will need.  (People with CF sweat out more salt than the average sweater).  And, if I get behind on my salt intake, it will be hard for me to recover and be in the best shape for the next day.  

So here I go! I am off to prepare, get my legs warmed up and get going on this crazy adventure!



On May 12 I graduated from University after 4.5 long years!
On May 13 I celebrated with my whole family by dunking myself in ice water and gallivanting about the Pocono woods in mud covered uniforms.
Since it was mother's day, we challenged my mothers creations and as a tribute to her hard work and amazing efforts, she learned that she raised 3 TOUGH MUDDERS!

I survived, based solely on team work and was absolutely covered from toenails to scalp on mud at the end of the day.

I am working on a slideshow, so Ill work on that this week at the TRANS-SLYVANIA EPIC!!!!!


After the first race! Thumbs up spirits up!

All of this winter we got no snow, but just before the race we got enough rain to make The Iron Hill Challenge a mud fest! I was so pumped to start.  It’s my first season starting in the Sport category! I had to consistently remind myself to be excited instead of nervous.
 I woke up, and got my kit together, packed a PB and J, and grabbed my aerosols to do in the car.
I pulled into the parking lot and my heart pounding, naturally! But I couldn’t tell if it was because I was nervous excited or  all the albuterol.   I ate a chocolate chip Clif bar as I changed in the parking lot into my fresh bright blue season three Team CF Kit, and I was off!
I rode up and down the car lined drive for a warm up.  The endurance race had already begun and a section of the road was blocked off with cones as part of the course.  The racers wizzed past and my heart was still aflutter.
Battered with Joy and Mud Love
As the starting area filled in I saw a man in a Team CF kits and introduced myself.  I love meeting teammates who are riding for a loved one or just love the cause! Ride on!
The start line was friendly as always.  It was so refreshing to ride with women for once.  There are no women riders in my area that I have had the opportunity to train with, so my core group of riding buddies is a bunch of guys.  Great for training as I am always either trying to keep up or trying to show them up! But I miss riding with the other ladies! 
GO TIME!  I started off in the middle to front of the pack.  The first bridge I slipped and was passed by a few riders. Then onto the mud fest! As I settled into my speed I hit the long stretch of what felt like 6 inches of straight mud, up hill, on the rocks! Needless to say in no time I was facedown in the mud.  As fellow team make Cheryl and Selen passed me, I heard ‘Oh hey Kait!”.  I guess they recognized my fanny because I’m pretty sure that was the only thing not covered in mud!  In fact, anyone who knew me passed me at that time on the course.
The rest of the loop was much better and by round two I was feeling pretty confident.  I was riding at a challenging pace, but I was dreading the muddy stretch that was coming up.  I don’t know if I was expecting it, or if I was just more careful, but the second time around I was much more prepared and the mudd didn’t seem quite as deep. 
Coming around to the last stretch, I bonked.  I knew I was near the end and I was giving my everything to push but my bike just kept going slower and slower.  One of the riders behind came up on my tail.  During most mountain bike races, you have no idea where you are in relation to your competition on the course. She noticed my fatigue and instead of wizzing past, she completely emotionally supported me! “you can do it, were almost at the end” and “push a little harder they are right behind us” I looked back and there they were!  And coming up fast!  This rider passed me and said “follow my pace”.  Though I tried, I could not make my legs peddle any faster.  One other rider passed me as I gained sight of the finish line.  I crossed the line and learned my place.  I was in 7th place until the end!  I took home a 9th place finish.  This was so disappointing to be so close to the end, but I was so proud that I gave it ALL I had! I was beat!
I am proud to be competing for team CF again, and I’m ready to kick some mud.  So, although I like winning much more, this class is no shoe in, and I’ve got some work to do!! 

Let the training continue…
I cant wait until next weekend at the tough mudder!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Oy Ya YOY!!!!

Last Tuesday I went on my first training ride with a few fellow Team CFers and a few friends! The company was great, and the trail was a challenge! However, I was surprised by my performance. It was NOT up to par.
I was weezing!!! Though I occasionally enjoy a rock jam now and again,  I am not usually a weezer and I'm certainly NOT A FAN! (Get it!! Eh? Eh!?).  It was one of those days were I was really having trouble getting the air moving in and out of my lungs.  This tapered with my performance, as well as my mood.  I WAS MAD! (Leave a comment if you've been here too!)

When CF gets in the way of what I know I can do, I get angry fast. Usually I go for a bikeride to ride off some steam, so beings that this was my source of frustration, I just kicked it up a notch to try to get air in and out and move some mucus around. 

In addition to weezing, I realized I use my breaks tres beaucoup! The trail we rode was very quick and windy.  If I know a course like this it's easier to 'let it roll' (a motivational saying that keeps me going! Literally.) when I hit a tight turn and a fast speed.  This trail was new to me, therefore I found myself with my middle finger constantly pulling the breaks. 

Throughout the ride, I worked on speed control and breathe control.  So, as I am riding I probably looked like a crazy woman, or the average young to middle aged metropolitan crazy on a Blue Tooth because I like to repeat sayings to myself to remind myself what I am doing.   When I come up to a turn quickly I say "Let it roll"  to remind myself to keep off the breaks and work on controling the bike through a turn.  When there doesn't seem to be enough space in my lungs, I tell myself "Use what you got!".  I figure, if this happens in the middle of a race, I can't just stop and get some pulmozyme.  So, I should most effectively use what I got!

The sayings both kept me trucking but I would be lying if I were to say I wasn't having troble keeping up with the boys.  The entire ride was work! But I loved it.  I was able to connect with a few CF riders which is great, & I learned a new section of the Wiss!
Special Thanks to Jesse Kelly for organizing a group ride! Great fuN!

Hopefully The Iron Hill Challenge wont be rained out this Sunday and I'll get going on the season!!

10 days to Graduation!
11 days to Tough Mudder!
25 days to the Tran-slvania Epic!!!!!
138 days without Coffee, and counting :/