Sunday, May 26, 2019

Salkantay Trek Day 2: The Pass!

I woke up Tuesday feeling really good! Our guides woke us at 5am with coca tea (which I didn't really drink the first two days because I didn't really know it it was ok for the baby). After an amazing breakfast which featured banana stuffed pancakes I was much less scared of the amount of hiking/elevation in store for the day. Lexi opted to take a horse because the altitude was still really affecting her, but fortunately this was the last day where it was really bad.
Left: Our banana stuffed pancake breakfast with a side of bananas!
Below: The view of Salkantay glacier from the start of our hike on day 2. 

The day's hike started right out the door with ascent. We climbed a gradual fire road which turned into single track as it steepened. Our group seemed to all feel much better than the day before, and with a few quick stops to snack and regroup we soon made it to the halfway point which we all felt came too easily. We sopped to sit for a min and eat snacks (Bananas and Creme Bonk Breakers for the win!). The rest stop was at about 14,00 ft and there was a little house owned by a woman selling Gatorade, water and charging for the use of her bathroom. The best part was that she had a baby strapped to her back in the cutest way, little eyes peering out over the Manta, leaving me convinced that doing this hike pregnant was no big deal. That women was up here the whole time she was carrying her child and most likely didn't go to a hospital to give birth!

Above Right: Eating all the snacks at our stop even though I was still full from breakfast. Like I said before, the theme of the trip was eat, hike, eat, even if you aren't hungry yet. 

Below: Badass lady with baby selling snacks to hikers. 

 Post snacks we had two options: the longer, less steep route, called the seven snakes, or the shorter more savage, straight up route. Our group opted for the shortcut because the heavy donkey traffic on the traditional route looked obnoxious (the trail was pretty narrow so we would have to stop every couple minutes to let a train of donkeys past). Then Juan Carlos choose to make the steep route steeper by short cutting all the switchbacks! Somehow it wasn’t hard to keep up with our crazy fit guide though (he must have the best lungs and heart of anyone I’ve met, doing the trek over and over, often with no days off in between), and what I had feared would be a crazy hard if not impossible hike to the summit was over in the blink of an eye! Our whole group made it to the top an hour earlier than expected!

The best part was that Lexi arrived on horseback within minutes of us, so we all enjoyed coca tea and delicious ham and cheese sandos thanks to our kind Sherpas (who hauled the big thermos to the pass) took a bunch of pictures and listened to some more massive avalanches we couldn’t see because of the clouds. Somehow I have no pictures of the 'scene' at the pass, lots of people from all over the world, stoked to be standing around in the clouds after accomplishing what is probably one of the hardest physical feats of their lives, pretty cool :)

After another history lesson about Pachamama and the tourism industry and it’s impact on the landscape, we headed down off the pass towards lunch. The downhill was really fun (would have been amazing on bike), and lasted FOREVER. We walked and walked and walked and eventually got to an outpost with 1 sole bathrooms, to find out we were still 20-30 min away from our lunch spot. The hiking was nice though, time flew chatting with the Aussies about school, and the education system in both the US and Australia/how parenting has changed recently. I really enjoyed the company of our tour group, an unexpected favorite aspect of the whole experience that more than made up for the thick clouds that blocked out 90% of the scenery. What I could see was green and lush, fields of grass strewn with rocks covered in moss and red lichen. It was pretty magical.
Above left: the foggy view we enjoyed the whole way down. Above right: an example of what every rock looked like, bright red with some kind of lichen. 

Lunch on day 2 was one of my favorite meals of the trip because it included ‘condor wings’, chicken legs fried in corn meal. Right as we were arriving at lunch rain started to fall, and within minutes of us entering the lunch tent the rain started coming down heavily. Somehow we lucked out and the rain let up right around the time we finished eating and needed to head back out on the trail.

The reminder of the hike consisted of hours upon hours of downhill fire road, down out of the mountains into the jungle. The scenery changed a great deal, and so did the plants (I saw my first air plant in the wild!), flowers and sounds of birds and the rushing of the river to our right. Lexi and I talked and hiked and slid down the road and JUST as my feet felt they didn’t want to be in hiking boots anymore we arrived at the little town where our camp was located.

Above: Me and then Lexi on the very muddy/slick road, me with the jungle in the background, Lex with Salkantay in the background
Right: The first Bromeliad I've seen in nature

Once again we sat through happy hour of popcorn and tea and stayed straight through to dinner. Another 5 am wake up on day 3 had us in bed as soon as the nightly debrief was over and I slept like a rock after a long day that went way better than anticipated. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Salkantay Trek Day 1

Lexi and I only had 2 days of exploring Cuzco and getting a little acclimated to the altitude before our trek to Machu Pichu.
We woke up at 4am on Monday to get picked up by the trekking company Salkantay Treks in a big Sprinter van for the 3 hour drive to the start of the hike. It was dark for most of the drive and I tried to sleep, but I was too nervous about the physical feat ahead of us. At the orientation meeting the night before my nerves were so bad Lexi said they were palpable, I was a mess. Fear that hiking pregnant for that long, at that altitude would be too much had me a nervous wreck. I had tried to calm myself by focusing on the fact that it wasn't a race, and I could go as slow as I needed, but I was still a mess. 
Anyway, as the sun came up we (I, I think I was the only one awake in the van) got our first view of the incredible landscape around us. We drove through a beautiful canyon, on a road cut into the side of steep, verdant cliffs with Salkantay glacier in the distance. The van stopped at a town called Mollpata for us to eat breakfast, and then continued to the start of the hiking for the day. At breakfast we met and chatted with some of the others in our group of 12, all of whom turned out to be super rad, like minded travelers, none of whom were just in South American for just a week. It was cool to hear about all the places they had been and were going next, but it also make me pretty jealous haha. When we finished eating we had the opportunity to buy snacks and rain ponchos, and since this was the last town we would see for a while Lexi and I bought stylish plastic ponchos for 3 soles (about $1).
After about 30 minutes of driving post breakfast the van stopped at a pretty nondescript spot on the dirt road we had been traveling on, and we all piled out, lathered up in sunscreen and started hiking! 

Our tour guides Julio and Juan Carlos were incredible, stopping at the perfect intervals to talk to us about the trail, plants and Incas, but really I think they secretly knew we needed breaks. 

Unfortunately Lexie got pretty sick on the bus ride, but her pace kept us perfectly in check, and I was happy to stop catch my breath and soak it all in (Honestly I had to work hard to keep my competitive edge in check all week and I STRUGGLED on the first day. I didn't let it show because I wanted to appear to be doing fine, but the altitude and the hiking with a pack weighed down with 4 liters of water was tough. The rest of the week wasn't nearly as bad, but day one was HARD). The trail was narrow and rough at first, and I wished I had my mountain bike. After climbing for about 40 minutes we arrived at an old Inca canal that used to carry water from Salkantay glacier to Mollepata town. The canal was just one of many impressive aqueduct systems in Peru built by the Incas and I think this one spans 33km! Despite having glaciers and crazy high snow capped mountains the region is pretty aired so the Incas had to work hard to bring water to their towns for drinking, bathing, agriculture etc...
 So it's safe to say I learned a lot on this trip :) Above left: the canal was right next to the trail all day on Monday. Above right: the rugged, perfect for mountain bikes trail. Below: Julio, our lead guide, teaching us about how the Incas used grass to make rope. Julio and Juan Carlos are both Quetchan, and they weren't just super knowledgeable about the history of the region, but also proud of their heritage, which really added to the experience.

After a few hours of hiking we arrived at out settlement for the night, a collection of dome shaped huts with glass roofs (built so we could see the stars at night but it was super cloudy and somehow Lexi and I got our hut kinda steamy, so we saw no stars). The entry to the huts was pretty low and I definitely smacked my forehead into the doorway full speed while exiting the hut leaving a pretty big bump and sore spot for the next three days. 

At lunch none of us knew what to expect from our first real meal on the trip, so we devoured the appetizer, and inhaled the soup, just to be met with endless entrees served family style. The hardest part was wanting to try some of each dish, but not having the room in my stomach to fit it all in.  All the food they served us was beautifully presented, sourced locally, and every meal was healthy and contained tons of veggies. I would recommend this tour company for the food alone! We left lunch feeling uncomfortably stuffed and grateful for the hour break before our afternoon excursion.

I accidentally took a short siesta after lunch, kinda the only thing you can do with a stuffed belly after a morning of hiking. It seemed like a good idea a the time but I woke up slow and groggy for our hike to Humantay Lake. The path to the lake looked like a ski slope, straight freaking UP. Not wanting to be left behind I joined the group, even though I didn't really feel up for walking straight into the clouds with a starting elevation of 13,000ft. It turns out half our group was in the same shoes, and John from Wyoming was even experiencing yellow fever symptoms from the vaccine he received a few days prior, so I was in good company taking the hike at a stroll. Lexi was also still pretty affected by the altitude, but she went her own pace and even though she took a little longer to get to the lake we were all super impressed she toughed it out because it was a doosy of a hike. 
 Left: A random cow we saw on our way up, a nice complement to the breathtaking scenery.
Below: Some wildflowers that caught my eye. Lots of lupin which apparently the Incas used for milk and to make a flea shampoo for their guinea pigs!
 The climb kinda went on forever (it was prob 2 miles haha) and every time we thought we were near the top we would turn a corner and realize in fact there was still a LOT of climbing left. When we did finally reach the top the view of the glacier and lake took my breath away. Pictures can't really do it justice, something about the light filtering through the clouds that hugged the mountain, illuminating the turquoise water and vibrant green grass. Maybe all the hard work to get there made it more beautiful, but it was like magic, I could sit at that lake forever just taking it in.

 We took a ton of pictures, and then decided to hike around the lake to see over the cliff on the far left side, you know, because 1,000ft of elevation gain wasn't enough! From that cliff we got to see a pretty cool rainbow though, most likely caused by the mini waterfall at the mouth of the lake. Virga in the distance had us worried about rain, so after a quick lecture from Julio about PachaMama we started the hike back down. I think I enjoyed the conversation about the evolution of mountain bikes with Jen and John (the only others in our group from the US) as much as I enjoyed the constantly beautiful scenery. I love comparing notes about fun places to ride in the US, and got some good ideas from Jen for future road trips.
The tour company had a happy hour with chocolate and cookies, coffee and tea planned for us before dinner. We took a while to get down the trail because we were a bit worried about Lexie, the altitude really hit her hard and she was stumbling pretty bad when we got back to camp. We made it to the tail end of the happy hour though, snacked a bit and just stayed in the dining hall straight through dinner :)
I wasn't even a little bit hungry when the food came, but 'parental responsibility' (hahahah) to nourish the baby told me to eat anyway and the theme of 'eat all the food all the time even when you aren't hungry' was established. I think I gained 15 pounds during the week despite hiking 47 miles (which is ridiculous).
Despite the lake hike going better than I expected (esp with a groggy breathless start) at the post dinner debrief for Tuesday I got nervous again, day 2 was billed to be the hardest day, LOTS of elevation gain, topping out above 15,000ft, and LOTS of miles. We had the option to rent a donkey to ride to the pass, but I was worried I didn't have enough Soles to tip all the guides and chefs, so I went the cheap route and committed to hiking. With a 5am wake up time the next day we basically just went to bed after dinner, and were treated to pounding rain for most of the night (which sounds really loud on an all glass roof!!).
Happy Hour views of the mountain we were to climb on Tuesday. 

Monday, April 22, 2019

PERU!!! Just our time in Cuzco for now

My co-worker Lexi and I returned from Peru last night, from what was a crazy whirlwind trip that has me dying to go back to South America already, for a much longer stay.

I'm not really sure why we choose Peru for spring break in the first place, but one week isn't nearly enough time to visit such a magical, colorful, beautiful country, so I regret not planning this trip for summer. However, we also bought tickets and purchased a trek before I knew I was pregnant, and I'm not sure hiking 45ish miles through the Andes at 6.5 months pregnant would have been possible, so perhaps it was the best of all both possibilities. 

I knew we were in for a treat on the plane ride from Lima to Cuzco. Looking out the window was as magical as any movie as we floated very close to rough mountains and deep valleys covered in glorious looking groads. I was pining to bring my VR to Peru next time to ride every single dirt road I saw, eating empanadas along the way... next time.

Outside the Airbnb, can you see all the stairs behind us??
I'm not entirely sure how to write this blog post since there is so much to say and so many pictures to share. I think I'll split the trip into two recaps: Our time in Cuzco, the first two days of the trip, followed by our trek to Machu Picchu.

Highlights of our time in Cuzco:

Lexi and I had 1.5 days in Cuzco before the trek, which means only a day and a half to acclimate to the altitude. Cuzco sits at 11,000ft above sea level, high enough that it's not unheard of for people to get off the plane and instantly get altitude sickness. We were both worried about that possibility when our plane landed, but fortunately enough our first 2 days were great and neither of us suffered much more than being short of breath walking up the 1,000 stairs to our Airbnb.

We landed around noon, so after we checked in we headed right out to see the town, eat lunch and try to outsmart the red-eye flight jetlag. We stopped at the first restaurant we saw, CJ's Cafe, since the menu looked good/ the prices reasonable and Lexi ate the most amazing looking Lomo Saltado sandwich (while I was lame and ate leftovers from the day before in LA). Best looking sandwich ever >>

Then we proceeded to walk ALL OVER the Plaza de Armas area, covering as many of the little streets and ducking into as many little gift shops as we could.
So many bright things!!

Each alley way in Cuzco leads to a beautiful courtyard, and
each doorway to a burst of colorful souvenirs. I think Cuzco is the cutest town to walk around in because there is so much going on, everything is bright and beautiful and there is so much to see. Literally every shop owner is bugging you to buy their goods, including restaurants and massage parlors, and it took me a little while to learn to ignore them instead of always trying to be polite and say no thanks.
An adorable courtyard we accidentally stumbled upon
 by literally just peeking into every doorway we passed.  

We were both pretty stoked to be in Peru, which helped with fighting the jetlag. 

 The main plaza is surrounded by the most adorable buildings with colorful balconys and all the streets are cobble stone. Our tour guide told us later in the week that many of the stones in the square were thrown down at the Spanish by the Incas when they were defending their settlement up the hill, Seqsaywhaman.

I especially liked the marketing on the cigarette packages. I guess in other countries they are actually trying to stop people from smoking! Candy packaging also has a sticker on it that says 'High in sugar, don't consume in excess' which is pretty great I think!

 During our exploring I definitely looked like an out of place tourist, while Lexi spoke perfect Spanish with everyone which made me jealous/grateful to have to best travel buddy ever for this trip! I guess we both looked tourist enough though, that two women dressed in traditional garb threw a baby llama into our arms, then let us take pictures, just to demand an exorbitant price for said pictures. In a fluster we (read I) didn't use my noggin and gave them an insane amount of money on accident... and once re realized that our combined payment was unreasonably high they were gone. Initially I thought 'oh well, I'm helping them support their families' but later I felt guilty for thinking this because it feels a bit like some white tourist savior BS and now I'm just confused. In any case, we were much more wary of tourist traps in the future, because even the adorably traditionally dressed little ladies are savvy as all get out.

Dinner on day 1 was the stuff of my dreams, we found an little shop with every type of empanada you can imagine and split a few of them (after I briefly and traumatically got locked in the bathroom).

View of the plaza from our Airbnb

On day 2 we planned to do a little hiking to test out our sea level legs and see some sights above town. Menso the Great told me that we could take a taxi up the hill and hike down through three different ruins ending in town, but after a confusing discussion with our airbnb host we decided to just hoof it up ourselves, no taxi necessary. Our hike took us first to a very cute church on the hill that was in the middle of their Palms Sunday service. Since we were being stalked by a questionable resident (who mostly wanted us to pay him to be a tour guide but didn't understand personal space) we ducked into the church and got a little religion. It was actually pretty cool even though I didn't understand much of what was going on.

After church we continued up the hill to Seqsaywhaman, which is basically pronounced as 'sexy woman', which is a crazy impressive Inca settlement sitting high above Cuzco. We opted not to pay to get in for an official tour, but I kinda regret that now, if you go don't skip the tour. We did accidentally end up in the seqsaywhaman grounds twice, so we got to see some of the ruins and they were really cool.

From there we continued to the Christo Blanco that you see on top of the hill from Cuzco, where we broke bread (read: ate a pastry we saved from the night before) and took in the crazy good view of Cuzco. There was a parade happening down in the main plaza and we could hear the music and see the procession from way up above.

We took a shortcut down a crazy set of stairs back into town and then devoured another Lomo Saltado sandwhich and the best fries of my life (apparently Peru has 3,000 varieties of potatoes and they found the perfect ones for fries). Then we explored some more, ate ice cream on the square and wandered through the San Pedro market, which we found by accident while lost looking for San Francisco Square.

Lots of fun things to see and eat at the market, like cookies, more cookies, cheese and guinea pigs. 
And then we went to the orientation for our trek, where I got crazy nervous and basically had a panic attack because I didn't know if I could handle the whole week of hiking at elevation. More on that soon plus all the prettiest pictures!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Maybe It's Really Time to Calm Down Now

On pregnancy and endurance sports, oh how I wish they went together. But I'm afraid it's really, really time to put a limit on my athletic adventures and focus on taking care of this fetus.

The problem with feeling really freaking good during the second trimester is that I'm tempted to go out and ride more and harder than what is recommended. On Friday night I made the last minute decision to participate in the NonDot GranFundo, a fun group fondo style ride on mountain bikes. With basically no knowledge of the course I signed up for the 50k route and drug my butt out of bed before the sun was up to go play bikes.

Well it turns out if you want to ride 35 miles in Santiago Oaks you are going to have to climb 7,000ft... Oofa that's a LOT of elevation for such a short ride! I tried to pace myself well for the baby's sake, but honestly I probably went too hard on the first lap, and was feeling pretty darn hot and tired on the second. Knowing I could just short cut out if I wanted at any point I cautiously rode the second lap at a much more conservative pace, and finished feeling really good and HUNGRY!
TRYING not to accidentally ride race pace hahaha
The course consisted of literally every trail in Santiago Oaks part, and we one of the more challenging things I've ever done because like I mentioned before, 7,000ft in 35 miles. Every climb in the Oaks is steep, so the ascents take a lot out of you. Top that with not training and gaining a bunch of weight and oofa, it took me 6 hours!

At the end of the day I'm glad I jumped into the Fundo last minute, but for the rest of the day I had a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that it had been a little too much. What if riding 6 hours was bad for the baby? I was a little out of breath on the first lap, what if that was bad for the baby? It got pretty warm out there and everything I've read says DON'T OVERHEAT yourself working out pregnant... yeah, it really started messing with my head. And to be honest I had some of the same nagging worried thoughts after the GWR ride I did three weeks ago, and after racing Sagebrush 2 weeks ago.

SO it's time to give up the long fast fun life for now. There is so much more to gain from dialing it back and enjoying the easy, short commutes while the baby finishes cooking :) We are officially halfway there, and I'm more and more excited to meet this little human every day (although to be honest it still doesn't feel real that we are making offspring!!)

And a few other pregnancy thoughts:

I'm still squeezing into XS sized cycling clothes, but pictures from the Fundo shocked me about how much wider my hips have gotten in the last 5 months! I have no idea exactly how much weight I have gained since it's healthier for me to not know and just eat when I'm hungry, but it feels like A LOT! I'm definitely not one of those skinny pregnant ladies with a cute bump!

All the things pregnant ladies are supposed to do like taking birthing class and touring the hospital and all.... oops. I've been putting it all off because it doesn't feel real yet, but knowing we are halfway is kinda terrifying. We have 20 weeks to get ready - next week because...
On Friday my co-worker Alexis and I fly to Peru for spring break, a trip we planned before I found out about the baby. I'm kinda nervous about going somewhere with such bad water and crazy altitude, but also so excited to see Manchu Picchu.  When we bought the plane tickets I was so excited to be traveling for fun without a bike... now I just hope I can survive the altitude and not get sick :) Wish us luck!!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Baby's First Bike Race

This past Saturday I did something that was probably a little risky and def not approved by my doctor, I participated in a bicycle race! To be honest this was nothing like racing a bike, more like riding the course at a relatively chill pace with a bunch of wackos who were actually racing. And to be extra honest I FREAKING LOVED IT. 

This was actually my first race since La Ruta, and I didn't realize how much I love bike racing until not getting to do it for a while. Although I wasn't trying to place, I still had loads of fun crushing climbs and shredding descents (at a reasonably safe pace) with a bunch of rad people. 
And the best part is that I think I could learn something from this racing bikes pregnant thing. Here is a quick recap of the day and what I learned.

Sagebrush Safari is a pretty awesome, semi local race down in Campo, CA, really close to the Mexico boarder. We drove down Friday night and slept in the van at the venue so we could sleep in on Saturday morning :)

The course for Sagebrush is CRAZY fun. No lie I would call this the best mtb race in SoCal based on course alone. Every descent is out of this world fun, so fun that I convinced Brendan to come and shuttle the descents while I raced so he could experience them. We did a little pre-ride of the final descent right before my race which left me wondering: What happens to my baby if it experiences extreme amounts of stoke enutero? 

Standing on a start line not caring at all how you will place is kinda a cool feeling, not going to lie. But there was part of me grieving the fact that having done ZERO intervals or real workouts since Nov meant I didn't stand a chance to keep up with Leslie Patterson, this world champ Xterra racer who showed up this year.                                                                   After the start, when all the racers were still together rolling up the initial 2,000ft climb I couldn't resist the urge to ride to the front and taunt the guys that a pregnant lady was beating them. Then I quickly fell back in 'pace yourself you can't get out of breath' mode. 
That 5 second period of time when a pregnant lady was winning the Sagebrush Safari ahahaha
The initial climb felt long at a conservative pace, but it eventually deposited us onto the most glorious swoopy, rocky, jumpy singletrack. I had a blast descending, and much giggling and expressions of joy led the guys around me to question my sanity. Kidding. It was fun riding mid-pack though, no one had an ego about me being in front of them and they even complimented my line choice, haha. 
The rest of the race was a much too short mix tape of patience on the climb followed by sending the down hills on repeat. Somehow I finished second to Leslie after 2.5 hours of spending all my energy holding myself back from going into the red. Considering I've never been good at pacing myself, taking the baby into consideration and knowing that letting my HR get above 140 for long was dangerous made pacing so much easier. I finished the race feeling really really good, like I could ride on forever, not the usual I'm going to die from blowing myself up in the first hour feeling! It may just take a baby holding me accountable to teach me how to pace myself and not go all out from the gun!

After the race we ate an extra large soft serve in Pine Valley, home to Nobel Canyon trail which I very much wanted to ride, but... being a good kid and not overdoing things... followed by the worlds best tacos at Tacos Libertad in San Diego.

I love bike racing. Not doing it for a while was all fine and good, till I went to a race and now I remember how much I really truly love the community and the exhilaration and sheer joy of riding bikes around in a newish place with a bunch of random people. Hopefully there is more bike racing in my future one day. For now I think that will be my last race until the baby comes, the perfect spark to keep the fire lit!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

More ramblings from your favorite pregnant biker lady

Commuting today in a downpour hahaha
This week I started to feel more like myself energy wise on the bike, THANK GOD! Every commute I've been pedaling slower and slower, and it has felt like a struggle to just make it to school, until this week, when suddenly I felt GOOD again! Not fast or fit or like I'm going to enter a race or something, just freaking good! I even went for a 4 mile trail run on Tuesday after riding home! You can't imagine how happy having energy makes me :)

At this point, 17 weeks along, with what my pregnancy app tells me is a pomegranate in my belly (although it also says the baby is 6'' long and I've never seen a pomm with a 6 '' diameter!) I just feel like I overate and have stopped trying to suck it in. My regular clothes still fit, but I can't button all my pants, so I often go about the day unbuttoned, haha.

One thing I've been thinking about this week is that I haven't really seen much by the way of publication about pregnant athletes, particularly cyclists, and I find this interesting. I know only a small percentage of an already small portion of the overall population can relate to this experience, so I'm not upset or saying anyone is being sexist or anything. But I think it would prob be good if this was in the mainstream, that way women like me could hear someone else's experience and maybe feel normal, like everything will be ok... you know, those things. It's rough going from being fit and fast to gaining weight (I know it's good, but for someone who has been trained to think unreasonably skinny is the only option to be fast it's stressful to be gaining weight, and you know you need to for the baby, but it's STILL STRESSFUL!) and feeling low energy/slow. If someone else had written a story about this in Velonews, or Outdoor, or something I could feel like, ok good, it's not just me :)

To all the women I know who have had babies and returned to cycling THANK YOU for sharing with me all your advice, stories and insights! It's insane how helpful hearing someone else's experience is.
From the run on Tues, tummy sticking out more each day. 

And on the note of weight gain, I feel like I'm walking a thin line now wearing my old XS jerseys... they are starting to get QUITE snug and I fear one day soon I will no longer be able to zip myself in! Looking for hand me down medium and large jerseys effective now-ish hahaha.

And finally, I am signed up to do a 60ish mile ride with 6,000+ft ascent this Sunday (one of those pseudo celebrity appearances haha) and I am again, pretty nervous about my ability to keep up and complete the whole thing. I know I have the option to bail at any point, but the uncertainty feels like back in the day when I would go on long rides with the UC Davis Triathalon team in college unsure if I could keep up or make it the whole way. It's kinda cool to have this feeling again, although I honestly would like the 2018 Larissa back just for the day TBH.

That's all for now, time to get my 9 hours of sleep that I know I will never get again once this baby joins us :)