Why am I Running from Cancer?

Why am I Running from Cancer?. . . check out this post for an explanation

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another long bike ride

Yesterday I ran 7 miles in the morning and then biked 44 miles in the afternoon.  Yikes - that is a lot of exercise for me for 1 day.

My run was great in the morning.  Felt pretty good and ran 1.5 miles with Sophie and then dropped her off and stopped to stretch my ham string - which has been bothering me the last couple of weeks.  The pain is in my right glut area and sometimes when I am sitting extends down my leg.  It doesn't bother me much during a run - just feels tight - but I really pay for it afterwards, so I am upping my stretching!  Hoping that helps.

Early yesterday afternoon, my son called to see if I wanted to again bike to New Glarus, his girlfriend works there, and then bike back.  Last week  we got a ride back to Madison - but not yesterday.  I said sure.  I had wanted to get a long bike ride in over the weekend so this would be it.  I had wanted to bike using my road bike, but the bike trail is only paved for about 6 out of the 23 miles - the rest is crushed rock and although I debated riding my road bike, once I got on the trail again, I know that just won't work.  Too many loose rocks and gravel.  Last week we met at his apartment - but yesterday we met at one of the trail heads, which cut off 4 miles - so the trip to New Glarus was 23 miles.  On the way we again got to go through the tunnel.  It was not foggy this week, but still a really cool experience.  Once we got out of the tunnel, we crossed a small bridge and I realized that the guy standing on the bridge was from Madison and used to be our neighbor.  Joe and I stopped and we chatted for a while.  He and his daughter were camping in New Glarus and had brought their bikes.  He did a double take when I said that we had not only biked from Madison, but were also biking back . . . he asked if we were biking back TODAY?  yup - That is the surprising thing.  I follow many blogs and all of you do so much.  I don't think it is that extraordinary to run and bike in the same day.  But for many people doing any amount of exercise is work . . . more on that later.

After stopping to chat, we hopped back on our bikes and road into New Glarus and stopped at the store to check in with Chelsea.  We were only there for about 1/2 hour and it was time to head back to Madison.  We stopped and bought a Gatorade, filled our bottles and I grabbed a snickers.  ;-)  We decided to ride back on some roads, instead of the bike trail, figuring that the smooth surface would be easier biking and we thought we could cut a couple miles off of the ride.  So we planned our route and took off.  Oh my gosh - within 1/2 mile we faced a big hill - and then another - I tried to attack - but the hill hit right after a turn off the highway, with little warning - I shifted to the lowest gear.  Usually I don't need the lowest gear, but I certainly was glad I had them yesterday.  Holy cow.  We followed the county road into Belleville and then hopped back on the bike path.  We only cut 2 miles off the ride and paid with steep hills, but it was a great workout!

Great weekend - great workouts.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend work outs

Happy Father's day to all of the great fathers out there.  My husband is a great dad to our two sons and is currently enjoying a fishing trip in Canada.  He left Thursday morning.  ;-)
Friday: I took friday off, because the electrician was scheduled to come and finish some of the electrical work in the family room.  I started the day on friday with a 6 mile run - 2 miles with Sophie and 4 without.  The run went well.  I was back to the house around 8:30 and the electrician showed up around 9:00.  Right after he left, I got ready to head out on the bike.  My plan was to do a 35 mile loop on my road bike.  It was a great bike ride.  I did this route several times last year and my time was usually 2:45, but yesterday I completed it in 2:23 - clearly having a road bike makes a big difference.  Of the 35 miles, 15 is my normal route to and from work, so there is a lot of stop signs and waiting for traffic.  On the bike trail, I was seeing a lot of 17 - 20 miles per hour pace . . . my average was 14.5.
Saturday: My son and his girlfriend came over and we took the boat out on the lake.  The temperature was a perfect 80.  I drove the boat while my son slalom skied a couple of times.  I am not the best driver, especially for pulling a slalom skier - but got him up on the first try.  I was next up and headed into the water for the first time this year.  My son is a great boat captain - but he tends to pull skiers a littler bit faster than I like - YIKES!!!!   I got up twice - no spills - and had a great time.
Me on boat
Joe nut and sophWe also brought the dogs on the boat and they both enjoyed a little exercise in the water.    They both love their doggie life jackets.  As soon as we stop the boat - Sophie wants to jump in- Nutmeg usually has to be persuaded to jump in.  ;-)

Joe lifting soph

We got home and enjoyed New York strips on the grill, corn on the cob, bread and the first of the season, Summer Shandy, a great beer by Leinenkugel's.  ;-)

Sunday:  Woke up this morning with sore shoulders.  Water skiing will do that . . . especially the first time of the season. I had taken my commuter bike to the repair shop on Thursday, for a new chain and sprocket and headed down to pick it up around 10:00.  I then headed over to my son's apartment.  The plan was to bike from his apartment to New Glarus via the Badger State and Sugar River Bike trails.  This is a 26 mile trip - with about 18 of the miles on crushed rock, which is why I used my commuter bike.  My road bike would not be very stable on this surface.  Biking on crushed rock / packed dirt is much harder than paved surfaces - holy cow!
The best part about the trail is that there is a tunnel on the path - the Stewart Railroad Tunnel, built in 1887 and 1200 feet long.  .  It isn't the longest in the state - but it claims to be the darkest . . . and I agree with that claim.
IMG 6540 Here I am at Tunnel Rd.          IMG 6541Here is the sign for the Tunnel.
As we approached the tunnel, you could feel the cool air coming out of the tunnel.  It was also very foggy near the tunnel entrance due to the high humidity.
My son has a flash light on his key chain (otherwise we could have used the lights on our smart phones)  and we used that to navigate the tunnel.  Since the tunnel is not straight - there is a bend in it - you only see blackness when you look into it.   Just to clarify - we walked our bikes through the tunnel.  You could maybe bike through it if you had head lamps or a bike light - but it was really fun to wander through the cool darkness.
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The last photo, give you a perspective of the size of the tunnel, this family was getting ready to enter the tunnel, just as we were exiting it.
After the tunnel, we only had about 5 more miles to get to New Glarus.  Once in town we headed to the store where Chelsea works.  We stopped at a local Subway and then loaded our bikes up and headed back to Madison.
Great weekend of exercise and fun on the water.
PS - I have just started using MarsEdit - a blog editor for Mac - I am having lots of problems with photo's - there doesn't seem to be any way to add a caption to the photo's and they are really hard to place in the text.  I will give it a couple more blog posts - but I might be going back to blogger.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bike to Work Week

Short update:  This week is Bike to Work Week in WI  - guess I don't know if this is observed in other States during the same week.

I have been having a blast biking to and from work this week.  So far I have ridden my bike Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Oh course the exercise is nice - 15 miles round trip - but the best part is that there is a stand on the bike path, located about 4 blocks from my office, that serves GREAT coffee and pastries every morning for bike to work week.  The organization putting this all on also has someone there doing minor bike repairs.  On Monday I had Craig check out my rear brakes - he took the cable completely out of the plastic shield, lubed it and re-attached it and adjusted the brakes.

Bike path cart

Well - you might think that coffee and donuts on the bike path is as good as it gets . . .  nope . . . it gets better . . . tomorrow is Bacon on the bike path day.  Yup - they will be serving bacon!

Coffee -pastry - bacon . . . what better way to start the day!

Yea to biking to work!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Done - warm and muggy - just as I predicted!

I went back and forth about using my iPod - finally decided against it - then just after I got in the car and started heading down the street, I remembered that I had forgotten my Garmin.  I slowed down - and then decided to just not bother.  I figured with the heat - I would just run and not worry about headphones or watches.

Pretty happy with my time - 27:40 for a 8:55 pace.  Finished 6th out of 46 in my age group (51 - 60) - fyi - of the 5 women in front of my in my age group - 2 of them were also breast cancer survivors. In the Survivors group - I finished 13th - there are some pretty fast Survivors.

The Race was expecting about 14,000 people.  So instead of fighting the traffic I decided to stick my bike on my car and then drive down to my office and then bike to the Race, which is about 2 miles away from my office.  It worked out perfect.  No traffic on the bike path, while cars were backed up to enter the Coliseum grounds.

Got to the race with no problem.  Our team from MGE (my employer) was going to try and meet up outside of the Survivor's Tent.  Only a few of us found each other before the race.

Here is a pic of the group - there was a team of 20 in total - but only 5 of us found each other.  Next year we need to have a sign so that we can get a group photo before the race.

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Here is a picture of the stuff, as described in yesterdays post, in my goody bag.


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After the race, I grabbed some water and a banana, walked around a little and then grabbed my bike and headed back to my office and then home.

It was a great way to start the day!

Hope you all have a great weekend.



Friday, June 3, 2011

Tomorrow's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Tomorrow's Race for the Cure will be my 7th race as a breast cancer survivor.  I can still remember my first Race in 2005.  As you can see, my hair was just starting to come in.  I had returned to work full time and had started to go to work without a scarf about a couple of weeks before.  The race was on June 4th and I had finished my chemo treatments at the end of February and finished my radiation in mid April.  I still had my portacath, which is installed under your skin and was used to make infusions easier on both you and the nurses.  No searching for a vein - one simple stick and the nurse had direct access.  Since I was receiving a chemo drug called Herceptin on a weekly basis for a year, this port stayed in until the beginning of 2006.

I was 49 years old and finished the race in 31:32.


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Today I received my race bag.  So as a Survivor, what is in my race goody bag?  Lots of stuff!

  • the bag is a pink carrying bag, (reusable grocery bag) sponsored by All Comfort Services, a local heating and air conditioning company
  • a Warrior inspired scarf, sponsored by Ford
  • a bottle of water, sponsored by Enterprise Car rental
  • a Sobe drink
  • Goat's milk bar of soap
  • bags of raspberry tea
  • chap stick, sponsored by Johnson Bank
  • Revelon hair spray
  • A furry pink box, that must be to hold lip stick based on the divided insert?
  • Pizza coupons,
  • $25 off from The Diamond Center
  • $25 off from Pink Warrior USA
  • $10 off New Balance
  • A copy of Madison magazine
  • Pink Race for the Cure Survivor tee shirt
  • Regular Race for the Cure tee shirt
  • Pink Race Bib
  • Pink Hat sponsored by Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity

Tomorrows race will be a HOT one!  I really hate to complain about the weather - I usually simply Take what comes . . .  but we have really experienced some weird weather in the mid-west this spring - it is either unseasonably cold - or unseasonably hot . . . right now we are in a "unseasonably hot couple of days" period.  As I write this, I am sitting on my screen porch, the time is 7:57PM and the temperature is 89.  That is not normal temperatures for WI at the beginning of June.  The Normal high at this time of year is 75 - so we are way outside of the norm.  Of course with these hot temperatures our dew point is also high - so that means that the temp's tomorrow morning are likely to be warm and muggy.  Great!  While I love hot humid weather - I don't like to run in it.

But I am going to embrace the warmth and give it all I have. I just checked tomorrows forecast and at 8:00AM, they are predicting a temperature of 75 with a humidity level of 81% . . .  warm and muggy . . .  I will certainly get a chance to EMBRACE the warmth.

Wish me luck - I am off to drink a big glass of water - take the dog for a short walk - drink another glass of water - head to bed (yes I turned the air conditioning on when I got home from work today).

Tomorrow, hopefully I will have wings on and will be able to fly through the race . . .  not likely . . . but I can hope!

back tomorrow for a short recap!