Tag Archive | Sasha Fierce

Sasha Fierce And I…Taking A Beating

In the past couple of weeks, I have been stepping up my bike riding in preparation for Bostwick Lake Triathlon.  Last Friday night, I left work and headed out to the State Park where I knew there to be some good, somewhat hilly riding to be had.  In my recollection of the area surrounding Bostwick Lake, I am thinking it is kinda hilly, so I am trying to make sure I train on hills…hmmm sounds like Nashville Training all over again, right?

Sasha and I headed out onto the road.  It started out pretty easy.  Nothing too major.  Nothing I couldn’t handle.  I am learning to anticipate when to shift into a lower (easier) gear for the hills and when to take full advantage of the downhills.  It was a beautiful ride.  I LOVE being outdoors in God’s Playground!

The roads curved and swooshed around.  For every hill climb there was an AMAZINGLY fun and slightly terrifying downhill and crazy speeds.  OK, it was more than slightly terrifying.  Coach can cruise along at 29 MPH and be totally fine.  I, however, feel completely out of control!

As I headed back towards my car, I came around a curve to be hit by the MONSTER hill I had cruised down not 15 minutes earlier.  It’s ok though, I can do this, I can down shift….ummm too late!

Off pops my chain and you will not believe how sudden of a stop you come to when your chain pops off and you are on an uphill.  There is no coasting, folks.  Of course I couldn’t process fast enough to get a foot on the ground and down I went!  Yep Sasha dumped me on my butt.  Not really…it was more my knees, shoulder and elbow…but you get the point!

I looked around.  Did anybody just see that?

Crap!  I am hidden by a curve.  A car could come cruising around and not see me…I began scrambling to get my feet out of the straps, because of course my bike was in the air as it is still strapped to me.  Quickly, but not as quickly as I would have liked, I was out and standing and assessing myself for injuries.

Knee…killing me.

Elbow…somewhat tender.

Hand/Wrist….boy am I glad I was wearing gloves because I KNOW my hand went scraping across the cement.  No damage but it was tender too.

Ok, now how is Sasha?  Her chain is off…and she is missing a cap on the handlebars.

Now my dilemma is, how do you put a chain back on?  I know, I shouldn’t be out riding alone if I don’t know how to do things like fix a flat or put a chain on.  Come to think of it, I should have a flat repair kit with me when I ride…oops.  I like to live dangerously…or stupidly.

Within minutes, 2 young fancy looking bikers came by.  They had passed me earlier while i was getting a drink and checked in on me.  Now they see me again, on the side of the road, this time slightly worse for the wear.

“Are you ok?”

“Yeah, I am good!” as I inspect my chain and think, “How the heck am I gonna get this back on?”

Do I need a tool?  I don’t have a tool if I need one.  Umm I am about 5 or 6 miles from my car.  Are they gone yet?

“Hey, did ya get it back on?” The nice boys ask.

I had to decide, am I gonna be prideful and tell them I got it, or admit I have no clue how to fix this.

I chose humility.

“Ummm, I don’t think I know how to do this really.”

Nice boy #1 got off his fancy bike with his cool aero bars and clip clopped over in his fancy bike shoes and his fancy riding outfit (can you tell I am jealous?) and leaned over and within 2 seconds (literally) had the chain back on.

Seriously?  All I have to do is roll my pedal backwards and guide it on with my fingers??

Yep, enjoy the rest of your ride!  and off he and his buddy went…

I walked up that awful hill with my bike…then hopped on and cruised, much slower, since my knee was throbbing back to my car…where I canceled my planned run.

I am certain this is what I would have looked like again, except this time on cement!!

Note to self:  You really gotta get into one of the Bike Care classes at REI, ASAP!

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Sasha Fierce Rides Again…

For those of you that have been around a while, you have all met Sasha Fierce.  Perhaps you have even read of some of our escapades together.  It has been a long time since I have been able to do much more than look at Sasha Fierce with longing to be flying down trails with the wind whipping through my helmet.  I live in Michigan.  It is cold and snowy here, in case you didn’t know.

This past week, however, has been unseasonable warm.  You from other parts of the world, might not consider 40 degrees warm, but here, in January, coats and scarves come off and we all walk around in just sweatshirts.  My plan today for exercise was a long run of 6 miles.  However, I stepped outside into the warm-ish air, felt the light mist of rain and walked back in the house.  I headed for Sasha Fierce and told her…”today, my friend, we ride!”

The question though was how far can I ride?  Last fall I could ride 24 miles.  I haven’t exactly been riding since fall though.  Not to mention, I really needed to run.  I got that half-marathon coming up, you know.

I decided after much hesitation to attempt a ride to a local park (about 12 miles) where I would lock up my bike and with any luck be able to run 3-4 miles, then ride home.   I had no idea if I could do this.  Never did it before. Ever.  Doubts started to creep in, but I tossed them aside knowing I could always call for a ride.

I packed my fanny pack with my phone and other biking essentials, like extra gloves and my id and my ipod.  Pumped up Sasha’s tired, told mom my route and headed out.

My legs, particularly my calves, were not happy with me.  I think mainly because I ran up and down bleachers yesterday while waiting for my niece to finish her ice skating lessons, knowing I didn’t have time to work out this day.  They complained the first 5 miles or so, then seemed to settle down.

Unfortunately, another 2 miles into the ride, I hit a slushy/icy bit and for the next 2 miles had to walk my bike. Amazing.  Sasha does not like to stay upright in this mess.  Imagine, if you will, walking with a 3 yr old, holding their hand while they throw a temper tantrum.  You know how you end up half dragging them to wherever you are trying to go?  That was me with Sasha today.

By the time I got to the 10 or 11 mile mark,the path started clearing up, but it was now 5 pm.  Dark was setting in.  I knew I could not make it home before dark and going forward with conditions as they were was not an option.  I called for a ride and headed into Wal-Mart to buy groceries for the week while I waited.

No run, but I did burn 800+ calories on that bike ride/walk!  Woot!!

Snow and slush covered...but she ishappy to be ridden again!

Cheating on Sasha Fierce

I don’t even know where to begin blogging.  I have all these drafts started with titles/subjects of things I wanted to blog about…as soon as I adjusted to work and could think again by the end of a day.  I think I will start off with a fun one.

Almost 3 weeks ago now, my team lead at my new job and I were talking about things we like to do.  I had sent out an email to my new team while I was in training introducing myself to them all.  In this email I had included a short thing about how I am training to do a triathlon.

Tim couldn’t believe it!  He of course only has one idea of triathlon.  Ironman.  Ummm No Tim.  Not an Ironman.  Not for me.  Not now and since it requires running a marathon (and I am quite insistent that I won’t ever desire to do THAT), I likely will never do a full Ironman.  Anyway, I digress.  We were talking about my new interest in biking as that is the only leg I have not done.  He is training to do a 150 mile MS bike ride next year himself and loves biking as well.  All of this conversation led to an invitation to go Mountain Biking with him and his buddy, Bob.  How we went from road biking to Mt. Biking, I am not sure.

Now mind you, I have NEVER Mt. biked before.  I had NO IDEA if I could do it and was not sure I wanted to take the risk of thoroughly embarrassing myself in front of 2 men I don’t know.  It’s not like it is any of my normal guys I do things with, who love me no matter what.  These guys don’t know me to love me if I totally hold them back or screw up or can’t do it at all.

But I kind of wanted to try it.  Adam has talked about his love of Mt. Biking before and I always thought it sounded kind of fun when he described it.  I mean seriously…high chance of getting muddy and wet while riding a bike!  What is not fun about that!

So I made it VERY clear to Tim that I had no idea what I was doing or if I could even do it or keep up with them.  If I am to go, he HAS to understand that I am a beginner.  His response was this.

“Kim, we are not hardcore.  We do this for fun.  Besides, you just rode  22 miles a couple weeks ago AND you are training for a triathlon.  You will be fine.”

I chose to trust this man I don’t know.  Of course I called Adam a couple of times to get all the tips I could about Mt. Biking.  He checked out the trail for me online and gave me all sorts of pointers and then anxiously waited for me to give him my post ride report. (He REALLY wanted me to have a good time and to like Mt. Biking!)

So here is the post ride report.

Mt. Biking is AMAZING!!!  It is biking on a mostly narrow path at higher speeds.  You race through mud pits and sand pits.  You fly between trees hoping you don’t hit one.  You might encounter obstacles along the way like bridges to cross or log piles to go over. (no log piles for me this day)

It was like riding a roller coaster.   You are nervous as you wait in line.  The anticipation and anxiety building with every passing minute. Then as you get going, slowly at first it continues to build.  Then you head down that first big hill and all you want to do is close your eyes AND throw your hands in the air because it is both thrilling and terrifying all at the same time.  However, there are no mega magnets holding me to the course.  I am driving and I MUST focus on the 3-5 feet in front of me at all times or else I am toast.  Ride over.  I must keep my eyes open and hands firmly on my handle bars.

As I whizzed past trees and over bridges, noises were bursting forth out of me.  Squeals of delight and terror.  I could not control them.  They were as automatic as breathing.  Tim and Bob were often just enough ahead to be out of sight but they would hear my squeals and wonder if I had fallen.  Nope, not I.  I did not fall once.  I will most definitely do this again, much to Adam’s delight!

In the end, these guys were great to ride with.  They gave me pointers, went slow enough for me to keep up and never got too far ahead that I couldn’t at least hear them ahead of me.

If I keep up with all these athletic endeavors, I will have to get a second job to support my habits and so I can get a sister for Sasha Fierce. (my road bike)  I cheated on her once, and I think it could be an affair that I will continue with…next season.

My Bike Has A Name

A week ago, I went out with my friend Jen for a bike ride.  I have to say here, Jen has incredible endurance.  She doesn’t ride fast like Coach, but I swear she can ride forever!  Oh to be like her! After 18 miles I was DONE, but could not be done, because we were not at our cars yet.  I still had 4 more miles to go!  So I pedaled on.  I ended up riding 22 miles, which I have NEVER done before!  It was ridiculous!

During our ride, she was admiring my new black bike and asked me what I was going to name it.

Name it?!?!

I had not even thought about naming my bike.  So as we rode, we thought of some names.

Black Beauty

Slim Shady

Black Widow

and Wind something…maybe Wind Rider were some of the ideas we came up with.

As we thought of names I realized if I was going to name this bike it had to represent me.  Feminine, yet strong.  It couldn’t be something all frilly and froo froo…because I am not.  It also had to represent what I am about…living, not dying.   My bike is a tool for living.  It is going to carry me for many miles along this journey and therefore is strong in itself.

Just as we reached the turnaround point of our ride, I joked that I should name the bike Beyonce, because I LOVE the song “Single Ladies”.  Jen then told me that Beyonce has an alter ego, named Sasha Fierce.  I liked it.

This is what Beyonce says about Sasha Fierce:

“I have someone else that takes over when it’s time for me to work and when I’m on stage, this alter ego that I’ve created that kind of protects me and who I really am,” the former Destiny’s Child front woman said in a statement.

“Sasha Fierce is the fun, more sensual, more aggressive, more outspoken side and more glamorous side that comes out when I’m working and when I’m on the stage.”-Beyonce

When I am working out or training or in a race, a fierce competitor comes out of me.  I want to do and be my best.   And as the pounds come off a new me is being revealed.  This journey hasn’t so much protected me as much as it has revealed me.  A fierce, fighting ME.  One who will not give up.

But I liked that the name is fun and funky…and fierce.

So the final suggestion came.  Sasha Fierce.  It seemed to fit.  It stuck.

So, meet Sasha Fierce.  The one who will carry me many miles…who will help me live bigger…who will help me fly next spring/summer in a few triathlons and who likes to show me who is boss form time to time!

Posed-after legitimate fall to look like the earlier fall!

Posed-after legitimate fall to look like the earlier fall!

Obtaining a Bike-Part 1

You all know that I now have a bike because you have read about the hilarity of my fall.  However, you don’t know yet how I came to get this bike!  Here is the story.

Pretty quickly after the Girl’s Best Friend Triathlon in August, I knew that I would most definitely be doing a full triathlon in 2010.  I had thought it before and even said it out loud, but when I crossed the finish line, I KNEW that I wanted to and WOULD be doing one.  The problem.  I didn’t have a bike and no money to get one at this point.

However, I have a dad.  A dad who likes to shop and buy things he doesn’t really need or use.  It is not uncommon for my dad to have 2-3 of everything he owns.  I knew he had at least one bike, so it was not a far off thought to think he might have a 2nd or even a 3rd that perhaps I could borrow until I am able to buy one of my own.  I called dad and asked.  He launched into a long discussion about how he might consider it but there are many factors that go into riding a bike such as fit and sizing and what not.  All of these things I knew and in an ideal world I would of course want a bike that fits perfectly, but this was a short term fix to a problem.  An hour later, yes, an hour, the end result was, yes he does have multiple bikes but he is not sure they would fit me, so ultimately, no.

Not a problem.  I was disappointed somewhat because all it would have taken was for me to come over and try it out to see if it would even work in the short term, but he wasn’t interested in that.

Two days later I was in GR, doing the Friday Night Tri.  During the Tri, my dad called and texted multiple times as though someone had died and I needed to be reached immediately!

Side note:  When most people call/text like that, it usually indicates some sort of emergency.  Not so with dad.

So needless to say, when I got back and finished the post race dinner that happens and saw all the missed calls and texts, I was already a little irritated.  I called him back though.  He wanted to know what I was doing on Saturday.  He proceeded to tell me that I needed to go to a bike shop (the most reputable one, of course) in GR and get fitted for a bike.  He proceeded to tell me all the different measurements he wanted/needed.  He also told me that I needed to try multiple bikes, specifically one with drop handle bars to see if I like it.

After 15 minutes or so of this, I still had no idea what was going on other than there is some sort of urgency to me being at a bike shop when they open in the morning.  Perhaps he is trying to find out the hard way whether one of his bikes will fit me?  I finally was able to interrupt him enough to ask.  Why am I jumping through these hoops like this?  He said that he didn’t think his bikes would fit me, but REI is having a sale on bikes (Labor Day Weekend) and he was willing to buy me one!  He needed to know what size frame, etc, I would need.  But because the Sale ended Monday, he needed to know my sizing right away.

Well alrighty then!  So much for sleeping in on a Saturday morning.  🙂  Carol and I went to a local bike shop based on the recommendation of Coach and because Carol knows the family who owns it.

While I was excited about the prospect of getting a bike, I was not sure what all was involved in getting fitted for a bike.  So I was a little nervous.  Not to mention the fact that, this sales guy is going to spend a lot of time with me and there is no way he is getting a sale.  Dad is set on REI.  This fitting is just for reference.

After talking to 2 sales guys and actually riding a real road bike, I decided I liked the idea of dropped handle bars and loved the feeling of flying with very little effort!  I was officially super excited about a new bike.  It was determined that I needed to have a frame that is 51-52 cm.

So after another hour long conversation with dad, rehashing all that the bike guys said and telling him I needed a 51-52 cm bike, he said he would be going to REI to get one.  On Labor Day, while eating sushi with friends he called twice to tell me what bike he got and all the details and of course he wanted to know what my cycling friends thought about it…aka Coach and anyone else I know that races.

6 days later…The plan is that on Monday I will go to REI and pick up the bike.  No problem.  On Saturday I spent the day with Adam doing really important things like watching Coach in his triathlon, napping first on the couch, then by the pool, learning all about UofM football and learning when to cheer or boo and when it is ok to talk to a man watching such a game and not, running and oh eating dinner.

During the running portion of the day with Adam (really he was killing me! He is worse than Coach I think!), dad had called my phone and texted again, repeatedly and got my mom and cousin to text/call as though someone were dying again.  Needless to say, I was going into this conversation with him slightly annoyed because of his method of reaching me, when it is NOT an emergency! (One call/1 text is sufficient.  I will call you back!)

Talked to dad, for quite a while.  He was asking all these random questions.  DO I have gloves?  Helmet? Air Pump? Special shoes with clips? Lights?  Horn?…Wait what?  A Horn?  “Dad, I don’t need a horn!”

He proceeds to tell me about how he almost got ran off the road a couple times until he bought this special horn from the hardware store that is really loud.  It is made to go on boats. It is a FOG HORN!  Ummm no.  I am not putting a horn of any kind on my bike, especially a fog horn.

Finally, I ask why he wants to know all this stuff and he tells me he is trying to figure out what he will be buying when he meets me to pick up the bike tomorrow.  Oh.  Well…I thought I was just going, but ok.  Well, I have a helmet.  That is all that I NEED at this point.  I will get more stuff later.  But for now, I gotta go.  I had already been on the phone for at least 25 minutes and Adam and I were trying to make dinner at (9PM at night!) and we were both starving!

Stay tuned for THE STORE