Friday, July 18, 2014

Ride the Rockies 2014 - We made it!
Doing Ride the Rockies with John, Margaret and friends was so much more fun than I could have   The entire experience was just fantastic!
imagined! I always wanted to do RTR and figured I would end up doing it alone or with a couple friends but never did I think I would be training, riding, sleeping, eating and playing with an entire crew!

The training was fun although there were moments when I wondered if I would be prepared. Between travel and other obligations it is hard to find/make the time to sit on your saddle for 5-8 hours both days on the weekend and a couple times during the week. In fact, the time commitment was so big that I let go of swimming almost entirely and I only ran once a week or when I traveled, which of course makes running much harder. NO regrets about the training. I was as prepared as I could be and I knew that I was strong enough to ride each day. It was always a question of how lousy I would feel getting on the saddle the next day…fortunately, aside from some wicked saddle sores, my muscles responded and I had no problems.

I think the mental aspect of doing a 6 day ride is much more challenging if you have done the physical training…especially when you know you have at least 1 if not 2 mountain passes every day. The 2014 RTR was recorded as the hardest RTR ever due to the 35,000 feet of elevation gain over 6 days. The mileage was shorter than other years but the climbing was fantastically challenging. Knowing that we were rolling into a big fat day every day was what made if extraordinary for me and the rest of the crew. AMAZING! Many years ago, thanks to my friend Laurie Nakauchi, I discovered a chip in my brain that allows me to keep going long after I want to stop and it shifted what used to seem hard so that things like RTR and the Double Triple don’t really seem that scary to me. This is not to say that they aren’t hard but for some reason I always know I can do it. It might not be pretty but I don’t fret, worry or spaz out because I know I have that chip. Phew!

My friend Barry has done RTR many years ago so he knew he could get it done too, although he has tipped 60 years old and he struggles with cramps so the heat was going to be the unknown for him. The rest of the crew, John, Keith (he has the same chip I do) Nancy, Nicole and Michele were on adventure the likes of which they had never attempted and I will always be grateful that I got to share every single moment of pride and moment of pissiness with them! Simply an incredible accomplishment for each of them to no just train for it but to get up every morning, slap on your kit, slap on a smile, slam some snacks down your gullet and pedal pedal pedal! I couldn’t be prouder and more impressed by the mental fortitude and good humor we started and finished each day. I love you guys!

We also had the very best CREW EVER! The first couple of days my college roommate and her husband, Alice and Cary, came to SAG, meet my friends and see our home. It was by far the very best birthday present I could ever receive! I have always felt like a freak compared to all my friends from Homer and college because I don’t have the same life that they all seem to have…kids, husbands, back yard parties, PTA, etc. Instead I have been running and riding around the world with friends who are as crazy as me! Sharing my life with Alice and Cary was so special I can’t even explain. The best part is that they fit right in, mocked me at every turn and made us all laugh! MAROON 4 SAG CREW was what made our experience tolerable! They met us all along the course each day with food, butt butter, drinks, clothes and laughs! Thank you so much to Alice, Cary, KB, Priscilla, Margaret and Maelynn. Special thanks to Priscilla and KB for being there at every turn with our every possible need and for humping all our stuff from hotel to hotel. We really never would have been able to do it without you!
The very best way to share the experience of RTR with anyone interested is by the photos we took.
Prep – The Davis Phinney Foundation – the organization we raised more than $20K for Parkinson’s Disease, had a soiree the night before we started! Huge thanks to the DPF crew for taking such good care of us and for doing our very nasty laundry! I was so proud to ride with the DPF name on my kit! I am incredibly grateful to the DPF team of Polly, Lauren, Jenna and Cydney for taking great care of us and for committing your time and energy to helping support people with PD!

Day 1 – HAHAHA! Boulder to Winter Park. Gorgeous ride over the Peak to Peak highway! And there is a reason it is called Peak to Peak! Whoa did we climb! Yes, that is snow. We were not able to get over Berthoud Pass due to snow. NICE! We still covered 90+ miles and 10,550 feet of elevation!

Day 2 – Winter Park to Steamboat Springs. Phew, only 101 miles and one big fat climb up Rabbit Ears Pass into beautiful Steamboat Springs! 4,300 feet of elevation!

Day 3 - A gorgeous tour of the Yampa Valley - only 58 miles and it was advertised as a recovery day! NOT! So hard and so fun! I hooked up with some guys and blew through a great pace line! 5,300 feet of elevation gain is NOT recovery!

Day 3 – Fly fishing? YES! Our friend John Carlin took the Sag Crew fly fishing! So fun to hang with John and Quinn! Fantastic friends that I hope I get to know better and better!
Day 4 – Steamboat to Avon – a mere 78+ miles and the flattest day by far! Plus we saw amazing zip lines across the canyon!

Day 5 – Avon to Breackenridge – why did I think this would be easy! HAHAHAHAA! 2 big fat passes! Tennessee Pass, after we climbed Battle Mountain, and then Freemont Pass! Wicked wicked day and I LOVED IT! 78 miles and almost 6,000 feet of climbing!

Day 6 – Breckenridge to Golden – this day was just silly. We started riding over Swan Mountain Road, a little early to get my legs rolling, and then we had the big fat climb up Loveland Pass! It was so beautiful and fun! Nicole crushed this climb! I was so proud to ride with her as she pedaled her guts out in the heat! Everyone go to the top with huge smiles and relief! None of expected Floyd Hill to be such a monster but we did it! Another 78+ mile day with 6,000 more feet of climbing! Hitting Lookout Mountain was a miracle!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

50 Just Keeps Getting Closer...
Bring It!!!

I have 2 months before I turn 50 and I have been listening to everyone’s suggestions about how to celebrate, commemorate and survive this “incredible” benchmark. There are many people who say, “oh, it’s just another day” while others keep their heads down and pray it passes quietly. Others ignore it completely and still others go big. My sister went to Hawaii and celebrated Hawaii 50! Great idea! I haven’t come up with a cool theme, title or focus but I have decided 2 things!
1.  I am going to celebrate my 50th birthday BIG in honor of those people who will never have the chance to celebrate their 50th and

2.  I am going to do 50 COOL NEW things this year…50 things I have never done before…big and little things…and I have already started!

So begins the list of 50 cool things!
  1. Seasons Pass at Winter Park so I can ski with John and friends
  2. Ski weekend in Steamboat with friends
  3. Spent a weekend in Sedona with my college girlfriends
  4. Raise money for the Davis Phinney Foundation
  5. An 18 hour mountain bike adventure with friends
  6. Ride in Ride the Rockies
  7. Imogene Pass Trail Race – registered for a September race
  8. Mickelson Trail Bike Ride – 100+ miles – August

For right now my focus is on coordinating and completing the nearly 500 miles of Ride the Rockies with John, Nicole, Michele, Nancy, Keith and Barry and our crew of Margaret, Kevin, Priscilla and the Davis Phinney Foundation Tribe! We are going to have a fabulous trip and I can't wait to start! Collectively we have raised $20,000 for the foundation and we have probably ridden our bikes 20,000 miles to get ready for the ride! I am so proud of my friends who have made the time and sacrificed so much in order to make next week a fun and viable adventure!

I am going to blog a bit every day after we ride so we can share our adventures! The photos I have included with this post are shots from our training!

See you in the mountains!

Friday, January 3, 2014

January 1, 2014 - Just the beginning

I remember when I was a kid and I read 1984 by George Orwell and I thought that I would never make it to 1984…then I remember thinking that Prince's song, 1999, was crazy because that year seemed so far away…and it seems the decades keep rolling by. 2014…my 50th year! Holy crap! That is CRAZY! but here it is and I am spending an inordinate amount of time trying to create a very memorable year. I am very fortunate because every year of my life (except those I can't remember at all) have been very memorable with good and bad…but mostly good.

My friend Michele gave me this book for Christmas, surely as a joke, however it has some really great ideas in it! The funny thing is that I have already done so many of the suggestions…play golf in Scotland, check. wear comfortable clothes, check. Buff up my brain, check. Stop obsessing about my flaws…half a check? :)

My commitment to myself for the next 12 months is to do new things that I have never done before or at least some version I have never done before. For example I am now registered for the Double Triple Bypass. Sounds kind of stupid but we will make it fun! And I am doing the Ride the Rockies in June with the David Phinney Foundation to continue the amazing fund raising work started by my sister! John and I are going to take an amazing vacation, location still unknown.

I am also going to focus on being healthy in spirit, mind and body. I want to enjoy the next 50 so I best be attentive to the details! A little more recovery time, more Qi Dong, better foods more often, long hours of quality sleep, direct flights, good music with as much dancing like an 80's chick as possible, only really expensive red wine :) tons and tons of laughter, spending time with people who fill my soul,  make me smile and make me feel welcome, warm and worthy.

I also want to focus on family and friends who have been with me for a large portion of the last 50. High school and college friends, post-college friends and family that I have not seen since Walt's funeral. I still want Mimi and Janie to come visit and to see the Rocky Mountains with me. Alice and I will roll by 50 together with Mary by our sides giggling because she is such a youngster still! My cousins Amy, Hillary and Kristen have always been so fun when we have found the time to play together. Now that they have 8 beautiful kids between them it is hard to find the time which means I will go to them in Omaha, New Jersey and DC!  My incredible Colorado friends who have seen me through men, athletic adventures, jobs, homes, surgeries and craziness, I intend to make the time to laugh really hard with you!

It is important to consider how I do not want to spend my time this year as well. I will avoid anything or anyone that produces negative energy. No standing in judgement, complaining, feeling mad or sad, injured due to idiocy, grumbling or pouting and definitely not fighting. No whining, bitching or moaning about my life because it is really fantastic now matter how hard the day(s) may be…I am blessed.

There are so many cool one liners about turning 50 but I want to come up with my own…I have a few months and I also welcome any ideas or input you might want to share. Fabulous at 50, 50 and Fantastic, Finally 50, etc etc. None of them excite me much. I need my own.

I will be blogging throughout the entire year for my own entertainment and hopefully yours as well. I will chronicle every dance and laugh I can while likely sharing the true sense of anxiety I feel about this benchmark.  I once dated a guy who told me life went down hill at 40. Yeah, he was a drag for sure! And I mocked and then dumped him! What a sad way to look at life! So now I am peering over the wall at 50 and I wonder…"what's next?" I guess I will save that consideration for my next post.

Freaking Fit at 50? Nah….that is boring and limited too.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Time to move...

I started my blog so my Pop could keep up on my life. Then my hip surgery seemed like good info for people. Now it is July and I am feeling like catching up. The last 6 months I had surgery and decided to start a new sales job. It has been a crazy half year and I am so looking forward the coming days and weeks.

I have watched people race, ride, ski and train and it has been fun considering I wish I was out there. Madeline even got to wear my new ski boots before I did! Geesh! It was well worth it because she had a great time hitting the slopes with Tim, Dave and John!

It is time to get back in shape...slowly. I need to figure out how to get healthy and get in the best shape of my life for next year...because it is a biggie! I am going to focus on my cycling and finally get to race for Altitude and with MB. I can't wait!

Swimming will also be added back in as I quit going to the pool weeks ago. Not lazy...and not motivated. Time to dig in and find my inner athlete again! Yahoo!

My hip has healed and the team at Panther has done a spectacular job rehabbing me with balance and strength. I am going to start pool running and work on my form so that when I hit the ground I am the perfect runner...making Bobby McGee proud!

Time to move again...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Patience and hip surgery? Really?

I was reading back on a post I made about this time last year. I had finally finished all my promo injections and I was looking ahead with a new coach and a new season in my future. I was focused on IMCD and getting healthy and strong enough to show up and race. I was full of anxiety and hope that I was finally healed and headed toward faster races and life long wellness....again.
I got an email from an old friend from the YMCA and she wrote that it seems like I am always recovering from something! I think she is right. Is that the way life is? I feel like I am recovering from 2012 and the hip surgery was just icing on the cake! 

I look around and see friends and acquaintances that are facing true hardships; sick children and dying parents and I know in my heart that my pains are temporary and my life is blessed. Having said that I think it is important to take time to sit with whatever pain or struggle exists in order to acknowledge it and let it go. I am trying to be much more mindful and for me that means mindful of the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, for me and for others.

Whenever I am feeling frustrated or guilty or wronged in some way or alone all I need to do is to be patient and change will come. Hopefully it will come from inside me. My most favorite saying from Wayne Dyer is "change the way you look at things and the things you look at change" and that is the real truth of it. If I can shut up and be still long patient with myself and others, then I can see more clearly what needs really exist and if I really need to do anything at all besides be mindful. 

So today I am 14 days out from my left hip surgery. Dr. Leslie Vidal at Rose Medical Center. I highly recommend a consult with her if you have any hip or knee issues. I was thrilled and impressed by the entire operation. The biggest pre-surgery struggle was my insurance and we didn't have approval until 10 minutes prior to my entering the operating room! It was crazy and her entire team was calm, professional and kind. Even Dr. Vidal came out to talk to me about the insurance 20 minutes after we were supposed to start! She is a real professional and genuinely concerned about her patients!

The surgery only took about 2+ hours. It took longer than they expected due to some really cool bone protrusions that had formed on my femur. The Osteplasty took some unexpected time but she said she got everything smoothed out and if I am a good patient it should heal nicely! She also mentioned that my labrum looked like crab meat and in fact should look more like steak...not good. She cleaned it up, showed it back together and then reattached it to the bone. Nice and neat. The pictures are gross but you might enjoy seeing them. Just not my thing.

Now the real challenge begins for me again....patience....4 weeks no walking and no driving. John had decided on a boys weekend the weekend after my surgery so my friend Christine flew out from SLC to be my caregiver! What a saint and a blessing that turned out to be! I am a real pain in the butt to take care of and Christine had the house running like a small military camp! She fed, bed and cared for me with such passion and kindness, it was amazing. Once I weened off the pain meds life got much better for me. I hate those things. We had a big celebration when I was finally able to poop because then we knew I was on the mend. It took 5 days but it was worth the wait! Phew I felt better! 

Since John returned it has been a real challenge for both of us to manage my non-walking, non-carrying status. I don't think we have any appreciation for how important it is to be able to carry things when we walk...or bend over...or lift our legs for ourselves! Crazy! John has been outstanding at caring for me, running his business and trying to run our household. We have been blessed with amazing friends and family who have done so much! MP even offered to come up and clean but I couldn't have that! NR, MB, PS, MT, NS, HS, LS, LN and more have been helping us with so much! I am SOOOOOO grateful for your friendship and help! I know I have a long list of IOUs that I have to manage.

The next 3 weeks it is all about PT and being a smart and conservative patient patient. I am going to Panther PT and so far I like their team very much. I will keep you posted on them as time goes by! I have a CPM machine for 5 more days and then I will be ready to throw it out the window! Ugh! I have lame little exercises to do in order to get my nerves working again! It is amazing how traction can mess with so many parts! I hope the feeling comes back to all my parts soon enough!

I have one little ride in the future that I am hoping to be able to do, Buena Vista Bike Fest, June 1 and if that goes well you might see me doing the Triple Bypass. Not a lot of running for a few months and swimming can start only after my psoas release heals. Ouch! No swimming yet!

Patience and kindness will get me through this. Patience with me and others and the process. And kindness with me and others as well. I feel like I am being grateful but I worry that I am not being enough so I need to be patient with the process. 

The greatest joy is that my niece Madeline has been here visiting and she is a great lady with a really nice friend named Tim. They are classy fun and living life! I am so proud of her!

Patience commence.....

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kokopelli Trail Days 1 & 2 - a story told with photos!, Heidi, Matt and I did the 4 day mountain bike trip from Fruita, Colorado to Moab, Utah. Between the 4 of us I think we had a complete training program! Injury, work, travel and a host of other excuses kept any of us from really focusing on mountain biking in preparation for this trip...but when has that ever stopped me in the past! Ha!
If I were to do it again, I might check out the profile for the ride...but I knew I was going to do it either way so it didn't really matter...but HOLY CRAP! The "little" hills you see on the profile were hard enough but the 3rd day was crazy hard and beautiful!

Day 1 we left from the trail head and rode Mary's and Lion's loop and followed the rim above the Colorado River. Just gorgeous! I knew my cycling legs were weak so I would jump off my bike at any sign of was going to be a long trip and I didn't need to get hurt! We hike-a-biked 3 or 4 times that day. Some of the climbs were hysterical because I could see no chance for a bike to cover the terrain.  

The rest of the story is best told with photos!

A beautiful view from high above the Colorado River

We were trying to climb as much as we could without hiking!

Heidi took a pretty good shot to the axle. Day 1 damage!
John and Heidi hiking up another climb.

Checking out the view from my campsite.
Making it to the top after a long day!

John hanging on for dear life at the campsite night 1!

Day 2 started dark and wet and never got much better!

A wicked hail storm moved in on us faster than we expected!

Holding up in a vacant van while the storm hammered our bikes!

My hero!

Hail creating a wicked gully washer in the desert!

All the water created a clay soup that we COULD NOT ride or walk through!

This is just stupid...40+ miles of this crap! Oh my!

Finally got to dry land! The road was long and hard too!