7.22.2016

Debunking Sports Marketing

Wow, your job is so cool!  You get to travel the world... 

Honestly - I cannot tell you how often I hear this when I explain what I do: I work in global sports marketing. What the heck is that? It is essentially the wrangling of professional athletes - making sure they have on the proper product. We make sure that the athlete is promoted properly, and the company is as well.

Yes - I travel the world. Yes - I hang out with some of the top notch athletes. BUT, it really isn't as glorious as that: there are the trans-ocean flights in economy, there are the sleepless nights, and multiple 100+ pound bags.

A few weeks ago - one of my friends (whom used to do the same line of work as I currently do) and I started cracking up - because, there are so many things that people don't understand about this job. SO I am going to do my best at debunking the world of sports marketing (or at least my experiences so far).

Before I started this role - I always dreamt of being in sports marketing. I wanted to hang with athletes, and do all the cool things that the SM managers (in my mind they were the untouchables) got to do...but...a year and a half later I have learned a thing or two...ha!


Debunk #1: You get to travel the world! 

Yes! You are correct. Thus far in 2016, I have gone to: Australia, Africa, France, Italy a few times, a couple places in Belgium, I will be in Brasil soon, probably back in a few more tropical countries and the land of pasta before we hit the new year.

Glorious? Sure.

However, what you forget is - you may be going to all these wonderful countries and racking up the miles for what you like to imagine you'll use for personal travel...but...you are flying in the back of the bus. By the time you arrive your back is killing you from contorting yourself into a pretzel like position to try to sleep comfortably- you probably smell like a mix of morning breath and recycled cabin air.

As one of my co-workers says: no matter your status, they still treat you like crap.

Sure, I may have diamond-platinum-sparkle status on two-different airlines. At the end of the day, what does that do? It let's me get on the plane before everyone else - and have a different phone number to call for troubleshooting a missed or cancelled flight.

You do however, become an airport aficionado which is cool and your yearly book reading list becomes 10-fold longer.

You are eating airplane food. There is unfortunately no avoiding it. As much as I have tried to plan, and properly pack, etc. You'll be diving into one of those oblong aluminum shaped dishes filled with over cooked-over sauced pasta, and a wilted salad. Stay away from the meat. 

Now, don't get me wrong - I do get to travel the world. I have been able to see some amazing places. I mean, when am I ever going to see Monet's Garden again?! Or be in physical attendance for the day Cavendish took his first yellow jerseys at Le Tour de France...

...and when you aren't flying? Chances are you are spending a lot of time driving - and keeping your fingers crossed that Siri doesn't lead you astray in directions.

Debunk #2:  You get to go to the best parties! 

Nope. I actually don't think that I have ever been to a party since I have taken the job. Of course, I am sure that I missed out (by being in high school) on all those amazing X-Games, bike race and other odd promotional parties that used to happen. No crazy drunken nights of rubbing elbows with elite athletes. No insane gift bags and paparazzi.

My party consists of a bottle of wine from the local market that lasts me the entire trip. And, bed around 8pm, split with a brief stint of yoga at 3am to try to put me back to sleep. Thanks jet lag. 

Debunk #3:  You get to eat amazing gourmet meals in Europe! 

Well, if you aren't bogged down from jet lag, and feel like going out alone to decipher the foreign language...sure. Chances are you will have a great meal for next to nothing.

I force myself to walk around and explore the local town upon my arrival to avoid any and all jet lag. NO NAPS! One time, I was in the small Tuscany city of Lucca - I quickly found out that not grabbing euros at the airport was a horrid idea - as credit cards seemed to be a thing of the future. You don't speak Italian? You better hope your "pointing at food game" is strong and you have a few extra euros in your coin purse from that last time you were in Europe.


Debunk #4:  You get to hang out with professional athletes all the time! 

Yes - I do. It is pretty neat to be able to chum it up with some of the best athletes in the world. But, most of the time that you are around the athletes you are there working, and so are they.

Athletes, or in my case riders, have blinders on and are extremely focused on what their job is.
Just like us, their sport is their job. Their livelihood - in the world of cycling, their life can change in the blink of an eye. They need to be successful and victorious for pay - just as much as we have to do outstanding noticable work to make sure we are not chopped. 

This job consists of a lot more than just hanging out with athletes and seeding product. Believe it or not, this is a desk job. It requires a lot of strategical planning, budget balancing, staring at a computer, coming up with the perfect copy to go with a perfect product/athlete image.

When it is tour season, you are spending countless hours traveling from hotel to hotel. You are staying up organizing product until wee-hours of the morning. It's raining? Well, put on that coat because you are going out to fix all the riders lenses before the start.

Debunk #5:  You have so much product! 

You're right! I sure do. I also have a lot of people that want to be friends with me because of this. If I want to share, I will share (and, I love seeing people smile when they slip on a new pair of shades).

How does the product get across the world? Well, you ship it or you carry it. If you ship it you're at risk of it getting stuck in customs - if you carry it, you're at risk getting caught in customs. I always recommend carrying an international invoice with you! 

Did I mention, these bags of product can sometimes be the same size that I am and weigh just as much? Close your eyes - and imagine my little frame toting a personal bag, a bike bag and roughly 1 - 2 body bag roller bags for work. Ta-da - that is the life of sports marketing - at least you don't have to go to the gym to get ripped! 

Debunk #6:  You must ride all the time! 

Actually no. Chances are you are hired for this job because you show an extreme passion for the sport that you now support. I used to average over 300 miles a-week on my bikes - I was fast a lightening. Then, I started traveling - which means I am are not riding - which means you're get slow (and potentially fat). Don't get me wrong - I was able to ride in Australia, which was a kick in the pants and spent a month in Africa racing/working. But, at the end of the day you are not averaging you 300 miles a week anymore - unless you are a superhuman? 

When I arrive home from a trip, I like to think that I am going to go and ride my brains out - until I remember how shitty jet lag can be and that your new favorite sport is sleeping. I am no jet-lag ninja - although, that would be pretty cool!

Debunk #7:  You must get so much free stuff!

Maybe it is just me, but, I still pay for a boat load of the product that I use for my own cycling and skiing endeavors.

Debunk #8:  I bet your fluent in multiple languages? How many do you speak? 

I speak one. English - trust me I wish I spoke more.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What I do is pretty unique. Yes, I have traveled the world. Yes, I hang out with pretty nifty people. I honestly wouldn't trade my experiences for anything - being in sports marketing has helped me grow as a person - it has helped me become much more brave, and stick up for what I believe it. This job has taught me how to succumb to awkward situations, and how to spend countless days alone. This job has allowed me to have friends across the world - and capture my inner adventurer. It has taught me that work is not all glitz and glam. It has taught me that no matter what I always need to pack at least four pairs of shoes, ha! ;) 

2.26.2016

Look Ma' Im Zwifting

So I am sure you are involved in the bike community the slightest bit you have heard about Zwift

If you haven't Zwift is essentially an interactive bike riding video game. Remember Nintendo Wii - circa 2006 ( I was in college)  - people claimed it could keep you healthy + actively in-shape...yeah, okay! Well, Zwift is like a Wii but totally badass and truly active.

The program is run through a few ANT+ pieces, a download, a computer and you on your training pedaling your ass off. Zwift supplies you with an interactive video platform, so you can actually see those around you riding too (in avatar form), gives you status from the day AND can sync to your StravaHmmmm, guess who has been QOM of the day for her last two rides? THIS GIRL!



I have only been Zwift-ing for several sessions now - but - so far it has made a huge difference with winter riding. I will admit I do miss watching my wild animal documentaries and food network shows - however, this program gives you the feeling of REALLY riding your bike.

I may or may not have gotten a little too into the ride yesterday while going for the acclaimed Libby Hill and started to feel my training tip when I tried to power through a corner. Ha! 

Interested in trying Zwift? It is super easy, as long as you have a trainer, and ANT+ Dongle (speed + cadence sensor too) - you can download the program to your computer and ride for free for 14 days or x-amount of kms.

**major plus if you are a premium strava user, because you get TWO-MONTHS free!

Now - go Zwiftly!

2.24.2016

Gee, thanks for the reminder.

I am going to go with the old saying: if I had a dollar for every time....

Since committing to racing Cape Epic back in August of 2015 not a day seems to go by where someone doesn't decide that they have to remind me that I am going to participate in one of the hardest mountain bike marathon races in the world - actually, it is so hard that it is one of the 5 races in the globe that has been categorized as a UCI hors catégories - basically that means HARD - like really f**king hard. I like hard - well, I hate the thought of it, but, when the time comes and the bullhorn goes off - I am ready.

First, thanks for constantly reminding me of what I (yes, me) personally committed to - like seriously do you think it slipped my mind from the time I went to be last night + this morning? No.


Just so that you get a true gist of the comments I hear - and we will start off with my favorite:

- Are you going to take your bike? ..........
 
- Do you even know how to mountain bike - you're a roadie right? Good one, is this a joke? If you are still wondering what the answer to that is: my background is in mountain biking. 

- Your luggage is going to be SO expensive, flying with a bike is really expensive. Again.......

- Are you in shape?  Well, I am more in shape than a couch potato I know that much. 

-Which lenses are you going to use? Really haven't put an ounce of thought into this year. Hopefully I remember to pack glasses - since that is a common piece of equipment I forget - almost every trip.

- Do you think you'll finish? Are you kidding me, what kind of question is that?! 
 
Are you going on a Safari - just to put a general answer out there, for the 500 times I hear this a day. Gosh, I would love to do this - but don't have any plans so far. 

- I've done a stage race. That's great, I hope you learned a lot about yourself when you did it and you felt very rewarded at the end. 

- You are going to be in so much pain. Like so uncomfortable, I can't even imagine. First, thank you for the reminder - but, have you done this race before? No, then why are you telling me? 

- Those pedals suck. Be ready for them to break. Funny you say that, because I have NEVER had a pair of these pedals break on me...so let's just hope that luck continues. 

- You are going to be SO exhausted after the flight down there. Oh, I am? That's funny - because you and I travel so much together you know how my body handles international travel. 

- There are a lot of poison snakes down there. Again, thanks for the reminder, the photos + the YouTube videos of black mambas. 

- You aren't going to want to look at a bike for a month after the race. Welp, sucks for me because literally a week an a half after I land in the state I have a 200 mile team camp ride to go on. 

- What are you going to do for food, you shouldn't use gel. Are you a nutritionist now? 

- And of course, just one more time: Do you know how sore you're going to be? No, but, I can imagine. And, how would you know?

Ha, okay really you have to admit the questions have to make you laugh a little bit.

Looking forward to sharing other fun experiences with you along the way!

Xx


2.23.2016

The Thrills of Packing

After almost a year of traveling the world, thanks to my job - you'd think I would have this packing thing down...wrong. Actually, today just thinking about all the little gadgets that need to make it into my bag for Cape Epic I basically had a panic attack. It is better to be over prepared, rather than under prepared - right?

Something that folks are constantly reminding me is that we will be in pain - geez thanks, like I forgot. So, when you are being haunted by the constant thought of aches - what else would you do except for make sure that holistically,  you are ready to herbally treat EV-REY-THING. Thanks to our good friend Mia in Chicago we are going to Africa in style with all the Chinese medicines one could dream of (and I am planning on bringing a carry-on worth of ibuprofen, which I understand is not an herbal remedy)!

For those of you interested in what type of mobile medicine cabinet we will be toting around the greater Cape Town area, this post will be your fav! If you are a fellow athlete going, just come knock on our tent door + we will get your sorted.


Arnicare: You guessed it! This stuff is made from Arnica - you don't want to get this sh*t in your eyes. Arnica is said to relieve muscle soreness + aches - it reduces swelling and can take that lovely purplebrown color out of bruises, I have a feeling I will be swimming in this stuff the morning of day-eight.

Narayan Gel: Personally, I am just a fan of how this stuff smells. Narayan gel is also a sore muscle cure. Unlike Arnicare, this topical is made from essential oils. They say it is also acts as a stress relief - like the hippie dippie version of Xanax! 

Ching Wan Hung: is one of the gifts Mia sent to us. Supposedly it smells like sesame oil + can help alleviates small blisters, and burns. These are the unfortunate things that we could encounter on our feet + palms after miles and miles of gyrating on rocks + dirt.

Pain Relieving Patches: I remember being a wee-one in Vermont and my parents using Tiger Balm. Growing up around the balm + loving the pungent smell, it has turned into something that I seldom travel without. Because we are going to be required to move around after the race finish daily (food, blog, massage, meetings, mechanic fixes, etc) I wanted to make sure that if I needed something to say affixed it would...the answer? Patches! Due to my bum wrist I am sure I will be using these a lot.

Mad Alchemy Chamois Cream: This might be the MOST important thing that we are carrying to South Africa. If you are a cyclist you know the importance of chamois cream, and how miserable your day can end up if you forget it. Mad Alchemy is a small body care product company out of Colorado - they believe is making everything pure + natural. Phew!

The Honest Company, Healing Balm: Early on I was given a tip of mixing diaper cream + chamois cream together and using on your golden parts. Thanks to the addition of babies to Adam's family I had a great idea of mixing the two together and then putting in reusable baby food pouches. Healing Balm is an assistance for dry or chaffed skin...let's be real riding a bike isn't all sparkles + unicorns. 

Bao He Wan: This is another amazing Mia gift. This is a remedy for upset stomachs - I will admit that one of my biggest concerns about this endeavor is gut rot (another glorious potential plague of this race). A lot of individuals are said not to finish due to digestive issues from the the amount of sugars + salt loss that your body goes through.

Suan Zao: Sleeping normally isn't an issue for me, just ask Adam. However, put me in a tent that could potentially be surrounded by a family of black mamba, hyenas and other safari animals - I could see nerves keeping me awake - Suan Zao is a Chinese herbal sleep remedy.

Salt Sticks: This is a product that has was invented by an athlete. Salt loss for endurance athletes can be a huge issue - Salt sticks are a quick fix to minimizing cramps, and all the other horrible junk that can come from low electrolyte levels. In the past before big 120+ mile races I chug grape flavored pedialyte like it is going out of style - however, that isn't going to be an option while we are in Africa.

This is just a handful of the stuff we are carrying over with us - as I get deeper into packing I hope to share more info with you!

Sending Love,

Xx

2.22.2016

Epic-ly Epic


Photo by Kevin Scott Batchelor

The days are starting to blur together. I have been trying to squeeze in as much sleep as possible these last few days - I know that my body is going to be screaming for it come half way through the race.

We just had a successful fundraising event over the weekend, thanks to Mosaic Cycles letting us jump in on their event. The excitement was so high, the whiskey was good - and the community support left my heart fluttering as I slipped into bed that night. We also found out that night that I may have a future in raffle + silent auction announcing.

In less than 2-weeks Lentine and I will be hoping on a plane that will take us to a land that neither of us have every visited before. The last minute jitters and to-do lists are growing by the second.

This trip wouldn't be possible with out all the love + support of our friends, families and companies we have partnered with.

My goal is going to be to blog everyday while I am down there - I am saying this now, but on day 5 of the race I don't know if that will be an actuality. So - be sure to check back every now and then to see what we are up to.

A huge thank you to the companies that have given us a helping hand so far - this dream could not have come a reality without you:
Oakley + Trek Bicycles + Nuun + Skoop + Skratch Labs + Coola Suncare + Vermarc + Qhubeka World Bicycle Relief + GoPro + Mad Alchemy + Butter +Rapha + The Athletic Community

If you haven't donated yet, and are still interested we have two different sites you can visit:
 
  1. Our World Bicycle Relief page will be open throughout the race - so you can keep donating those bikes! 
  2. Our Go Fund Me page will close just before the race starts (March 13th). 
Thank you for all of your love!

Xx

2.18.2016

Coming in Hot: Cape Epic

In just 13 short days my teammate Lentine and I will be departing for South Africa. In 23 days, Cape Epic starts. It is crazy how the time has flown by!


Tomorrow night (Friday, 2/19) we have are making our last ditch effort at fundraising in Boulder, Colorado. So: Bike riding, beer guzzling, curry eating, fundraising fanatics in the Denver/Boulder area - THIS FRIDAY come check out the shindig going off at Mosaic Cycles - where you can see some of their sweetest bike builds before they head to NAHBS along with, Skratch Labs + the Little Curry Shop's Biju will be cooking up some mean grub. Ohhhh, and there will be a fundraiser and silent auction for Team Epic Everyday - aka myself + Lentine. The fun starts at 530. 

Stay tuned to budreeder.com as I will be giving daily reports of how things are going in Cape Town - and hopefully filling your bellies with laugher along the way! 

If you haven't followed us yet, make sure you do: @epiceveryday@ereederreadsanereader + @LentineAlexis

Sending love + a touch of nervousness - 

Xx

1.29.2016

Dear Dad: The Undelivered Letter

January 29th, 2015. I was sitting in the airport, getting ready to fly to Phoenix for a week of sales meetings and work. My flight was delayed, my phone rang – it was my grandparents I didn’t want to answer, but I did. 

It was the first time I had ever heard him cry. In that moment, all words had gone deflated. I could not speak. I could not think – I just tried to process the words out of my Grandfather’s mouth: Your dad has passed away.

Should I get on my flight and go to work, or not? I had no self control – no idea what was reality and what wasn’t. Was I dreaming? 

I started shaking – crying profusely.

I called my mom, she told me she was trying to find a way to tell me.

The night before I had an incredibly lucid dream – it drove me awake around 400a. I thought that my uncle had called to tell me the news, I actually checked my phone – but- it was all a dream. Now, I realize it was my dad coming to say good-bye.

Today, one-year later since that horrible phone call – we are all down here celebrating you, and all that you did. I will spend the day out on the mountain – reminiscing about all the amazing ski days we shared together and then hop on my bike to spin a few miles just for you. 

I haven’t been drinking in preparation for one of the biggest bike races of my bike – but – tonight, I will have some whiskey and cheers the sky.

                                                   ---------------------------------------------------------
                                                         

Dear Dad,

I had been working on a letter to you for several years. I thought I had more time, and I would have been able to share it with you – but – I wasn’t.

If anyone has taught me what unconditional love is, I have to say it is you Dad.

You have taught me how to be brave, how to stand strong to what I want + follow my intuitions – you have taught me to be a hard worker. You taught me that I am just as tough as the boys. You have also taught me how to be a total ass, I am actually thankful for that attribute.

I cannot thank you + Mom enough for dragging Sarah and I around the US, so that our family could be a part of the ‘next great ski destination’. Because of that, I have learned a tremendous amount about myself + the quality of life that suits me best.

But, Dad – you also did a lot of stuff that left me angry, upset and weakened our relationship for a few years. I have a hard time forgetting things – and one of the things I will never let go of is the promise you made to Sarah and I; you promised that we would have to agree that we liked the person you were dating. We liked a lot of them – but – then you led us astray. However, I cannot stay mad at you – I am going to thank you, because that made my sister and I grow much stronger.

I hope more than anything that for the 28 years we had together that I have made you proud. My biggest concern with you leaving us so soon is that I will not be able to fulfill all the things you have expected out of me. I hope you’re proud that I have a job and that I am fully self-sufficient all though I still wish you were there to give me our secret $100 gas help every now and then – don’t worry I still won’t tell. I hope you are proud of all the ‘drastic’ decisions I made in my last 10-years of adulthood. Most of all, I hope you are proud of all the biking feats I have successfully taken on.

In 2005, the year I graduated from high school, you gifted me with a Cannondale R500. To date, it has been one of the most memorable gifts I have ever received (beside my student loan being paid off). I also remember I had no interest in riding that bike. Mom + Ed used to cringe everything I would head out solo on HWY 135 in Crested Butte.

As I invested more time in learning how to pedal, I slowly saw the therapy road rides were able to provide.  During the last Christmas we spent together, we drove to the airport and you told me how much you missed riding you bike – and the freedom it brought. Even on the days that I don’t want to be on my bike, I think of this and it completely changes my mindset. Now, I know why you rode – it was the easiest way to escape reality and to make you feel untouchable - I love feeling untouchable.  With well over ten-years of road riding under my belt now, I certainly understand there is no better feeling of clarity then when I am on my bike.

I have so many amazing memories of us riding bikes together; I am so happy I have those.

How about all the times we rode Donner Pass together? As soon as we reached the base of the pass you would always shout ‘see you at the top!’ that was my immediate queue to show you how good I was at tackling grueling climbs. When we would both reach the top, we would share our times with each other.

Thank you for teaching me how to play around in my gears – and how my legs should feel in every different ring that good ole’ R500 had to offer. I have to admit, that even with how comfortable I am with shifting on my bike I still cannot drive a stick-shift car to save my life.

I loved seeing the way you would light up when the Tour de France would be on TV every year – you had me planted in front of the TV watching LeMond, Ullrich and of course Lance. You were always a Lance fan. As I grew up we would update each other on finishes via text.
 
One of my favorite bike memories was when Tour of California came through Truckee. You talked me into doing the citizen’s hill climb at Northstar. I believe I was yet again the only girl that showed up for this crazy event – I rolled out of the start and as I ascended you surprised me with painting on the road the entire 3-mile course “GO LIZZIE!” “LIZZIE PUNCH IT!” “ALL MOST THERE LIZZIE!” “SHIFT!”. I rode that same route in April 2014, this also marks the last time that we skied together, you knew that I was getting ready for some crazy endurance bike adventure so you made me a route that would give me optimal climbing: a 5-mile loop from the base of the mountain to mid-station, where I would gain 1,000 feet in elevation every go-around. You said I should do it 10 times – well, I only made it 5 times.

Thursday night summer mountain bike races were always a hit. You would sit there on your four-wheeler and give me time splits from the other girls. Some how after yelling splits you managed to have impeccable timing with going back to finish a mountain project only to casually find me again on the course shouting: GO FASTER LIZZIE! GO! even if I was in the lead. 

The name Lizzie will always be special to me, because that is what you called me. The same goes for Bud, because that is what Mom has always called me. 

You were completely in love with your job; you would completely light-up when it came time to turn those snow guns on every year. You worked so hard - endless hours during the winter. You would act like you were annoyed by it...but...we all really know you were like a little kid in a candy shoppe. Your line of work fascinated me - I believe that at one point I even claimed I was going to be a snowmaker.   I thought it was so cool that you had your own cat in Aspen, I think that would drive any kid to the point of wanting to do what their dad did. I felt especially cool when I picked up the snowmaker lingo...    
                                                  
Did I mention by dad was a complete stud? My god, he was a looker! He sure did wear that salt + pepper hair proudly. Even as his body started to fail him he still managed to impress me with his pure strength. Our last bike ride together, he pulled me around Donner Lake at a casually maintained pace of 19 mph. 

Remember when you moved to Tahoe? I believe it was September 2005. I was in my dorm room and my phone rang – you said ‘guess where I am moving? Tahoe!’ This was a 18-year old sorority girls worst nightmare.  I was so hesitate to have a parent close to me, just when I wanted my independence. However, now – now, I am extremely thankful that you moved to Tahoe. I fee like our relationship grew leaps + bounds. Thank you for all the dinners in the little Tahoe Donner cabin that allowed me to escape from dorm food. Thanks for bringing be back to reality and the comfort of a small town.
 
Dad, I am pretty sure that you were also a dog-whisperer. You always had the best dogs - Stasha, Hayden, Buck, Dolly. You and Hayden had something special - I remember in Aspen, you taught him how to SIT on the snowmobile and get a ride up to your mid-mountain office. They say dogs are like their owners, I saw that in Dolly. As you slowly started to deteriorate, you held a 'don't bother me with that petty shit' way to life, Dolly oddly enough was very similar. 

You met every single one of my boyfriends. You would always judge them on if they knew how to 'turn a screwdriver'. Up until now, I am pretty sure that the only one you actually liked was Kevin because you were able to talk about trucks, tractors, splitting-wood and man-shit that meant nothing to me. During every breakup during college you were the one that always told me there was someone better. You also told me to keep my legs closed until I was 35 – thanks dad – you had so many comments like that would make me chuckle and roll my eyes. However, the last one you met – the guy that has comforted me through this dark time is a stud, I really think you guys would have gotten a long well - he likes fixing things, bikes and things with motors. At least you were able to pound a few beers together…

While I was in town for a ‘sneaky visit’ over the summer (that is what we used to call them, when he didn’t want to get in trouble – yes, that actually happened, sometimes we even had to meet in different locations across town - just to share a 'hi' and a hug) – emotion hit me like a pound of bricks. You were starting to pack + consolidate your life. It made me realize how real this was, and how much I hated it. It made me realize how unfair your situation was – at your age you shouldn’t have to prepare for death, but, some how you did it with finesse and beauty.

You told me a story about you and your pal Cliffy skiing once, the conditions were shitty – it was heavy California crud. Cliffy said “I’d rather be dead than ski this…’ your response was ‘I’ll trade you.’

Thank you for being so brave. Thank you for being upfront about your situation. You called me in 2011, just days after you May birthday – and told me there was something wrong. You were blunt; you said ultimately you were going to die. You didn’t want to keep this a secret. I crumbled onto the kitchen floor – confused, frustrated, and sad; this isn’t supposed to be happening.

I wish that we had had a closer relationship during our time together. I am not sure if regret is the right word, but, I regret not knowing more about you. Not having stories of your life to treasure and smile, stories to share down the road with others. As we get closer to living in two different worlds I feel as though there is still so much I don’t know about you – I know you have amazing stories hidden away.

I regret not making a more valiant effort to see you more and to understand you. At this point, all I do know is that you are my dad and I love you. I wish these aliments hadn't affected you. I desperately wanted you to see me grow up – I wanted you to be the person that gave me away, I wanted to gift you with becoming a grandfather.

Sending love to you – where ever you are. 

Over and out 300


Your daughter Lizzie.

1.12.2016

EPIC UPDATE – 62 days to go


Reality is slowly starting to creep in; Only a mere sixty-two days until the prologue stage of the 2016 Cape Epic. My nerves with a dose of double slowly creep into my brain every few days – am I strong enough? Will my legs last? Will we finish?  I never go into anything situation in life without fully examining every single possibility; you would think that over the last 8 months of preparation I would have exhausted second-guessing my level of performance.

Yesterday, I received some good news. Not only do I still hold my Cat 1 Cross-country license, but, I was also approved for a UCI license (International racing license) – to me, this is a big deal. This has lead me to gander at the possibilities of racing again – I voiced my thought out loud of potentially racing Sea Otter, what is essentially known as the season opener in the States. Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves… Studies say, that women peek at endurance sports around their mid-to-late twenties…so that puts me on the cusp. Crap!

In preparation, I have spent endless hours on the training – and endless hours enduring the freezing cold temperatures of my new high-altitude home. It is refreshing to be back in the mountains – my body + mind are happy again. I feel healthy; I am starting to be creative again – the Bud that we all known and love is starting to re-emerge from the backwoods. This is how you should feel going into an insane endurance event on the other side of the world. Right?

I have had to rediscover the art of layering. Something I never experienced truly as a ski-racer I am finding out. I try to stick to the basic three: toes, fingers + head. The parts of your body you must keep warm, if your phalanges or head get cold…you mind as well call it a day.  I have gained an appreciation for a scalding hot shower, and a warm wool blanket after close to sub-temperature riding.

Riding on my trainer has become my solace on days it is too cold out to confront the outdoors – aside from the quick run to Whole Foods to stock up on food that satisfies my stomach.  My legs move almost vicariously to the dreams, and social media posts of warmer weather others are posting. 

It is go time. Over the next month, it is time to make sure that my legs are polished and grind + shine attitude is in check…because I am about to make a major check on my bucket list.I have also realized, that my journey begins on the one-year mark of my father's death - I am a firm believer of everything happens for a reason, and maybe he is the reason I committed myself to this challenge in 2016 - it wasn't just wine sipping, girl gossiping and tossing around big biking dreams. 

Sending Love, 
Xx

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