|Views from a hike in Big Sur where bikes are definitely NOT allowed.|
Left: Entering the Wilderness, a place bikes aren't allowed on the way to Baldy. Right: Carl on the PCT, which we call the perfect cycling trail but is very illegal to ride your bike on.
|Mt. Baldy summit, 10,035 ft|
A few weeks ago I hiked the North Backbone trail with Carl. During our hike we had a lot of great conversations, but one of the things we talked about has been on my mind for a long long time. I've been doing a decent job of continuing to share my life and experiences on social media but I haven't done a great job of keeping in touch with my cycling friends, and I think a good part of that is that I don't feel relevant, or interesting anymore. I KNOW this isn't actually true in my mind, but when all I can think about on a daily basis is work, eating, sleeping and repeating, and I'm too exhausted from growing a fetus all the time to be 'fun' it feels easier to just kinda disappear some. I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but I'm starting to think that is why when other athletes I know get pregnant they tend to fall off the face of the earth. You feel one dimensional and uninteresting, no one wants to hear about my baby, AGAIN, I'm not traveling to cool places and racing my bike with Olympians, and as a result I feel uninteresting and therefore kinda just recede.
It was especially hard when Belgian Waffle Ride weekend approached, and I was never asked to be on their podcast. I know this sounds lame, but I'm being honest here. The male winner from last year was interviewed, lots of other past winners were on the show, but I felt so crazy irrelevant never being asked to share my experiences and advice despite winning ALL 5 jerseys the last two years in a row. I can't race AND no one wants to hear my tips for winning, double wammy. Then the weekend came and went, I watched it all unfold on Instagram, I couldn't be there to defend my title, and it was just hard.
But you know what, if I can survive this roller coaster of emotion, joy and heart ache, I can do anything, so maybe I'll be mentally stronger after this baby is born if nothing else!
|A well earned cookie after an 8 mile hike in Big Sur.|
|The Croque Madame at Bree 'Osh Bakery I dreamed about for the last two months of school while patiently waiting to go on this road trip :) Not super healthy, but balanced out the Kale salad I ate for three meals in two days on the way north.|
A few days ago the GM of the Hagens Berman women's pro cycling team shared an article she wrote with cyclingtips.com about being an elite athlete and pregnancy and I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading that at least one person in the world has had the same anxieties and struggles as me! She rode outside until she crashed, worried about calorie intake and even bought a baby heart rate monitor (I have WANTED this the whole pregnancy because I spent the whole 2nd trimester afraid the baby wasn't alive anymore), making me feel a little less like a crazy person and more like a person just trying to figure out the balance between an insanely active lifestyle and trying to grow a human. Thanks Lindsay for taking the time to reach out to me and share your experiences!!
|Mom, kicking my butt in the pool, twice in one week!|
So yeah, we are on a three week long road trip visiting family in Sonoma County and then continuing to visit good friends in Portland and then family in Seattle, and that's what's been going through my head lately. 8 more weeks of carrying this big belly around, and even though it may seem like I have more hardships to share about pregnancy than positives I promise I am loving every minute, every kick and every extra calorie I've eaten. Life has never been all downhill, and the new challenges we are facing are fun in their own unique, you only get to experience them once kinda way, and I love it!