Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 4 and 5: The final push

I woke up on 2.14 with a head full of junk, runny nose, runny eyes, and a headache. I tried to think of ways that I could make it through 3 hours on a bike but even the thought was too much. I unfortunately had to miss out on the 4th ride and spent the day on the couch instead.

It might sound like a nice break but I have really come to enjoy these long Sunday rides and missed the challenge that week. It has been really enjoyable to push my body to new limits and I can honestly say that it will be sad when the final ride is over.

Thankfully, I was pretty much back to normal this past Sunday and made it to the final training. The ride was 3 and a 1/2 hours and it went great!! I certainly do not think that the final ride will be a breeze. I anticipate that hours 5 and 6 will be pure adrenaline.

The founder of the Ovarian Cycle came in for the ride and it was really inspiring to hear her story. She was losing a friend and felt helpless so the ride was created in an effort to fight for her friend's life and the lives of all of the women affected.

I feel so grateful to be a part of this. The ride becomes very challenging at certain points and as much as I want to get off the bike sometimes, I think of all the women who did not have a choice. They had to go through the surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and they HAD to fight. I think of my grandmothers, my aunt, and my sweet friend Katelyn. All of their bodies have been ravaged by cancer and they have all fought for their lives. I think of this and I continue to ride... and usually I cry. I have been super emotional during these rides but it is so overwhelming to hear the stories, to ride with the survivors, and to think of the difference that this can make. The money will go to more research, early detection, more treatment options and most importantly more survival.
This week I am focusing on physically and mentally preparing for the ride. I am so looking forward to Sunday. Thank you for all of your support!!!

Please check out my page if you have not had the chance.
Also, I highly recommend downloading Melissa Etheridge's "I run for life". It has been such an inspirational song each week.

Day 3: The best yet

I knew this would happen but I did not think it would happen so fast... The shiny, newness has already worn off. I am behind on blogging. I apologize. Thankfully, I have a good memory(or it is easy to remember sitting on a stationary bike for 30 minutes longer than the week before).

In all seriousness, the third training ride for the Ovarian Cycle was really great. I made sure to stay hydrated and eat right the day before and it made a big difference. The ride was 2 and 1/2 hours and it went by pretty quickly. Honestly, the time spent on the bike is very relaxing. There are moments, of course, when I realize that some part of my body is aching or that I cant feel my rear anymore but it is also a great time to clear my mind. My knee was not a problem at all during the ride! The shoes have made a difference along with the constant icing and elevation.

I took a picture after the ride... I had cooled down a bit but this is pretty much it. (minus the smile at times + more sweat) Thank you all for the support!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A not so easy mac

I mentioned my resolutions for the New Year during the first post. I am back to reveal a second resolution. Cook a new item each month. I know, that sounds really silly to those of you with a husband and children but cooking for one is no fun. There is a cookbook that I keep meaning to buy named “The Pleasure of Cooking for One.” I am hoping somewhere in there it includes what that pleasure is. Don’t get me wrong; I really enjoy cooking. I just do not have a job that is conducive to leftovers and I end up wasting food so I tend to stick to very simple dishes that can be made in one-serving form. I want to branch out more so I thought this resolution would push me to do just that at least once a month.

The first dish I decided to make was a side dish. This past summer I visited my little brother in Seattle and picked up some amazing white truffle oil. I have been looking for a recipe to use it in since I discovered that it does not work with any of my current quick-to-fix-and-gone-real-fast meals. I settled on a classic with a twist, wild mushroom and white truffle mac and cheese. I actually made the recipe on February 2 but I settled on it and purchased all ingredients in January so it counts. I needed an event to make this very fattening tasty dish to share with others. Since the LOST (best show ever) premiere was on Tuesday night, I decided to make in order to celebrate with friends. After all, it is the beginning of the end but I will refrain from anymore LOST talk during this post.

The dish was not all that complicated and ended up being super tasty. I was very proud. I was able to find all but one ingredient at Publix. The crimini mushrooms required a run to Whole Foods but I am not complaining because I enjoy any reason to go there. I am posting the next picture for my sister who makes fun of my OCD tendencies. Perhaps when I start to cook more, I will be able to throw everything together as I go but at present I like to measure everything out ahead of time.

The final product after digging in

Bon appétit!

P.S.- Food pictures are fun but check out this guy, my nephew Jack. I can’t wait to see this chunk in a few weeks for his christening.

Day 2: Pushing through the pain

I am already behind on blogging- surprise.

Last Sunday was the second training ride for the Ovarian Cycle and it was definitely a little more difficult than the first ride. This ride lasted 2 hours and was about 30 miles. I think with time the rides will be increasingly difficult but also easier… if that makes sense.

Unfortunately, I am working with a bum left knee that has been a bit of a pain lately. *PSA: “Touch” mud football can be dangerous. All that slippery mud and young teens that do not understand the true meaning of no tackles allowed. Think before you play. The more you know…daduhdaduh. So, bottom line, the broken femur and torn junk led to a few surgeries and every couple of years a good deal of pain. For whatever reason, left knee has chosen this moment to bring on the pain and while I know the extreme cycling could be contributing, it is important to me to finish this event so that is the plan! I did see a doctor this past week to make sure I was not seriously damaged. There was talk of the full blown arthritis behind left knee‘s cap and a possible torn meniscus but I will follow up after the final ride. Believe me, I am not a very tough person but I cannot explain how discouraging it is to have a doctor tell you to quit something. I am going to try and push through but I promise not to be too stubborn about it (Mom & Dad).

The good news is, left knee does not hurt too badly while actually on the bike and thanks to some new gear things have been a bit easier. These beauties keep me locked in straight and protect left knee and its faithful partner, right knee.

These shorts add a little padded junk to that trunk that usually starts to go numb around hour 2.
I also picked up some fancy drink enhancement packets (aka- expensive flavored sugar packet) to go along with all the power bars this coming weekend. It makes me feel like a real athlete or something which I can assure you is not the case. I could reference my two-year quitting streak during tee-ball but it is still a little painful to talk about…

On a serious note, I am very close to my goal! Thank you to everyone who has already donated and shown support. I would love to fly right past that goal and raise as much as possible for ovarian cancer research.

Until the next ride….

P.S. - All get well/ encouragement/ stop being such a pain cards can be sent to left knee via comment box.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 1: Blood, sweat, and tears

     Okay, okay... there was no blood but the sweat and tears did occur. The first training ride for the Ovarian Cycle took place yesterday. The ride lasted an hour and a half and was roughly 22 miles. This was the reason for the sweat. There was no glistening taking place, just gross, soaking-through-the-shirt sweat. It went great and it was actually a lot of fun. I finished feeling very encouraged. Of course the thought that I would have to double that time and then double that again set in, so needless to say, I am still nervous about the six hour final ride.
     The tears, however, came at the start of the ride. The Executive Director of the event was in from Atlanta and shared some letters from participants. I immediately cried. There were also 5 survivors training yesterday. Though this ride is specific to ovarian cancer, I have watched so many women in my life battle with cancer and it is very empowering to be a part of this event. Both of my grandmothers and one aunt have been affected by cancer in the past 5 years. My maternal grandmother and my aunt have both battled with breast cancer which is very closely related to ovarian cancer so there is a part of me that is riding for them as well.

     So it was an overall good kickoff to the ride and I am looking forward to training. Thank you so much to those of you that have already donated. I will do my best to keep everyone updated on the training.  Oh, that bum knee I mentioned in the first post is acting up a bit so please send positive thoughts its way. I really regret ever thinking mud football sounded like a good idea (sorry Mom).

     Please check out my page at

First things first....after all, we must maintain order here

     I have decided to join the blogging world in order to keep friends and family updated...wait, is that the typical opening line on a blog? Crap. I was hoping to avoid the clichés. Let's face it though; blogs are mainly for the same purpose. I will say that I do not have hopes of this blog being turned into a book or a movie nor do I expect for it to be read by thousands. I do hope to keep everyone updated and use this blog as a sort of accountability tool for my goals.... which I am already slacking on so we better get this thing going.

      I will not post all of my new year's resolutions today. I mainly want to get an "intro blog" written so I can post about an event I am training for. The event actually started off as a new year's resolution: train and complete some sort of fitness event that does not involve running. Ha. I have had three knee surgeries and I am honestly hoping to avoid any more so that rules out the marathon trend....not to mention that running 26 miles sounds like something the devil decided would be fun (but kudos for all of you that like that sort of hell fun). I have chosen to participate in my own fun cycling event. I signed up for an event held at my gym called the Ovarian Cycle. The name was a good enough reason but the cause is also really awesome. The event raises money for ovarian cancer and I am lucky enough to have a wonderful friend who is also an ovarian cancer survivor. I am very excited about completing the event as a part of that resolution but it has quickly become more. I am really passionate about the cause which you can read more about at 

     I will go ahead and ask for patience. This blog thing is new to me (second cliché line, thank you) I will try and update often and attempt to make it semi-interesting. Thanks for reading.