Ride time

It’s almost time for me to get back on my horse, which is blue with two wheels and a motor, so I celebrated this weekend by putting on one boot and taking her for a spin. She started on the second kick, which means she’s about ready to ride as I am, if a little rusty (smoky).

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Sweat season

I’ve worked out twice since my cast came off a week ago today, which is twice as many times as I worked out since breaking my arm February 5. I’m excited about my new Yamaha-blueish daily-fitness-tracker watch, which syncs to my phone and sends me alerts for incoming calls, texts or apps. In the meantime, I’ve […]

via Sweat season — Jenn Sheppard

To watch

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Working off the cast tan line

I celebrated getting my cast off, first, by purchasing the Polar M400 watch and, second, with a 4-mile run for the first time since February. Yikes. 

While I’m not cleared to ride, yet, but I am otherwise good to go with a split for the next three weeks, per doctor’s orders. My run was slow but steady and exhausting. Naturally, I forgot to stretch after, so I could not walk for four days. Today, I’m planning to run again and see if I can get my heart rate higher than 201 – my max four days ago. I’m fascinated by the amount of data the watch collects. From miles recorded to calories burned and inactivity alarms, the best part is seeing my heart rate zones – from 1 to 5, and the percentage of time in each.

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With my 4-mile run, I walked 11,301 steps in 3.57 hours of active time tracked for a total of 5.57 miles. I sat for 6.54 hours, walked for 2.42 hours and ran over an hour with an average heart rate of 192 bpm. I can’t wait to try it out in the woods!

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JOMO

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Radial bow

Ten days to go until the cast comes off so I’m trying to find joy in missing out and forget about what I missed out on last week, such as spectating at the Daytona Supercross “arguably the most unique and iconic race of the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Series” and not getting invited to ride epic dirt bike trails with my  buddies.

This morning, I’m practicing mindfulness—the mental state of being completely aware and engaged in the present—and not letting the unpleasantries of wearing this cast for over a month affect me more than it already has.

“If you spend less time dwelling on negative thoughts, you open yourself up to receiving happier ones.”

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Trust in

I’m re-visting my read of the Flow book, which I received a few months ago but was halfway through another book, so I didn’t want to start another until I finished that one. This weekend, while posted up inside icing my broken arm, I cracked open Flow again and started over. Starting over is just something I do.

Since my injury almost three weeks ago, I’ve thought a lot about what went wrong. I talked to Pops about it; I explained what happened to my riding buddies; I prayed to the universe: what went wrong? I was riding so well; I was relaxed and confident, minimizing mistakes, knowing I was on the gas. I came into the check more worried about my time than I was exiting the chicane without crashing. And that’s just it. That’s why. I let my guard down. I lifted my ego up. Instead of trusting in my own race, I was worried, and that’s what lead me to my proper face-plant ending: the fruitlessness of my worry. It was so pointless. I wasn’t committed to what I was doing, I was worried about how I would stack up against the pro who had just passed me like I was standing still. So, that’s how I compared: I didn’t. I was disappointed I wasn’t winning; it was burning me up that I didn’t know what the plan was for me, anymore. What wasn’t working, I worried? It was me.

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So, the goal for the next four weeks, remember: today’s disappointment is tomorrow’s blessing. I’m not going to worry about it, anymore. It’s one of the hardest things to put into practice: focusing on what you cannot see, thinking only about what can be next, letting your skills do the work at hand so your mind is free to contemplate – thanks, Pops for the pep talk.

“Coming into the check can be a moment of pre-Zen. Everything is good. Everything is complete. Our guard goes down. You went down. Fate. No fireworks.” – Pops

 

 

 

Tough break

It’s been three days since I broke my arm at Round 1 of the 2017 KENDA AMA National Enduro Championship Series in Sumter, SC. Today is Day 1 of wearing a cast from my wrist to my elbow, and I’m over it, already, especially since I keep finding more things that trouble me: using a fork with my left hand, brushing my teeth, unscrewing tops or lids, typing (pecking), using the mouse, texting, washing my hair one-handed. The only thing I really must do with my right hand is write, and even that is almost illegible although still not as bad as my left-handed penmanship.

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Before Sunday, it had been three years since my last broken bone, so one could say that I was due for a trip to the emergency room, X-rays and a cast. So far, there’s only one thing I can’t do (besides ride, lift weights, practice yoga) and that’s floss, and I floss religiously.

Race day started off with me missing tech inspection, which never happens, but the club ran out of stickers for the 700+ rider event. I actually did not know if I even had a spot in the race until after 8 o’clock Sunday morning. I started at 9:36 a.m. from row 36. The first mile or so was a transfer section, which is essentially a warm up for everyone off-the-clock. We came to the start of the first test and took off in order of importance: Cory Buttrick in the Pro class, Neil Enman in A 250, Bob Bergman in A 40+ and me, ahead of two others on our row. From there, I rode 9 miles as hard, fast and smooth as I could to the end of the first test, my soft Florida set up somewhat OK for the harder pack South Carolina conditions. That is until my competition caught and passed me, and I noticed her KR4 suspension sink like she was riding a couch. I stayed focused enough to exit the first test in fourth out of 11 in Womens Elite. Ten feet later, in front of at least two dozen spectators and off the clock in a reset, I smacked a tree at a snail’s pace and proceeded to somersault through the air before landing on my head. Thanks to my helmet and hard head, I was fine immediately after the crash but just as I was moving to get up from my dirt sample, the bike chased me to the ground and the rear wheel came to a stop on my now broken arm. Snap! “Oww!”

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I ended up very thankful for all of those spectators who helped lift the bike off of me, the sheriffs deputies who notified the EMS, the moto dad, Jim Teagarden, who kept me smiling through the tears and gave me a warm spot to rest before the ambulance arrived, the cute medics in the ambulance who splinted my arm ever-so-gently, and the volunteers who carried me and my bike back to the pits. I ended up not last – 705th overall out of 725 entrants – I was 315th at one point – and finished 10th in my class.

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LiveLaps

Mondaze

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Before

Sometimes you win, sometimes you finish and sometimes you DNF. That’s what happened to me yesterday; my first DNF (Did Not Finish) of the season, which wasn’t my fault, really. I ran out of gas after the 40-mile-mark and pushed my bike about 2 miles, hyperventilating and crying, before two course workers rescued me with a splash of fuel. At the riders meeting, the club had said the loop was 38 miles, but it was more like 42, and I heard a few other two strokes ran out of gas, too. “Wtf???That’s not like you,” one of my buddies told me when he learned of my DNF.

The race was combined with an ISDE qualifier, which made for an interesting format that’s similar to how the enduros are scored out west. I was thankful to have experience with the transfer and special test sections. Usually, when you show up to the start of a race, you’re on the gas from beginning to end, but not this time. The first 6 miles didn’t even count, so I tried warming up without tiring myself out before the first special test, which is harder than it sounds when you’re all excited to race and your adrenaline is pumping. I had a new rear tire and rear brake pads, too. (Note to self: next time, warm up the pads – aka “bedding in” – before going out because it took me blowing out a few corners until they engaged.) By the first special test, I was ready to rip and of course smacked a pine tree right off the bat, which caused the vent hose on my gas cap to come loose and eventually fall off. Looking back, I should have stopped to grab it because I noticed gas immediately start spilling out of my full tank over every bump, and that’s what ultimately ended my day. I did try to MacGyver some duct tape over the hole in the cap so more gas wouldn’t spill out, but it wasn’t enough. I ended up being a few miles short of fuel.

“The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success.” – Paramahansa Yogananda

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After

I returned to the pits almost an hour late to the start of the second loop and called it a day. I could have gone back out but I was so defeated at that point, both mentally and physically, that I decided to quit while I was ahead. After sled-pushing my bike for the last hour, I was torched, and I loaded up before the rain rolled in. On to the next – 48th annual Sumter Enduro in two weeks!

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The quiet pits