2014 MS Bike Ride

This weekend I rode in the New Mexico MS 150 Bike Ride for the third year in a row. After my diagnosis in March of 2012 I knew that staying active was more important than ever and to be able to do that while giving back to this wonderful cause has been a blessing.  I am very aware that due to the unpredictable nature of MS there may come a day that I cannot run marathons, do triathlons, or ride a bike anymore, so I feel that it is my duty to do what I can now in the present.

I love doing this ride every year because it is such an uplifting weekend with people coming together to raise money for MS research and awareness.  Here are some pictures from the weekend’s festivities:

This is Day 1, my husband, Rick, David (a friend of mine for over 27 years!), me, then another Rick (who has been a friend for 25 years!)

IMG_7762

The “Ricks” taking a well deserved break at a rest stop around mile 80.

IMG_7767

The end of Day 1 and 150+ miles done!  There may have been a little fall at the end of Day 1 at the finish line.  Note to self: Don’t attempt to high-five someone while still riding your bike…taking a hand of the bars before coming to a complete stop may not be the smartest idea after 100 miles.

Time to refuel and get ready to ride again the next day. IMG_7770

Day 2:  We were joined by Brian, another great friend of over 27 years (boy am I feeling old).IMG_7775

I got to reunite with Larry, a fellow MSer friend from Colorado who comes to New Mexico to do the ride every year.  He is one tough cyclist (I suppose all those mountains in Colorado make for good training!).  I enjoy seeing him and his wife every year.  Larry is a source of inspiration and support to me, for which I am very grateful.

IMG_7777

Celebrating after a tough climb on the course:

IMG_7780

I’m overwhelmed by the love and support:

IMG_7782

Day 2 and 50+ miles complete!  And there was yet another fall off the bike at some point during this ride…something to do with a washed out road, lots of sand and not being able to unclip in time.  Oh well!

Time to celebrate, recover and get back to Ironman training!

photoTo sum up this amazing weekend, here is what I posted on Facebook to my friends and family.  I am truly blessed.

Words simply cannot describe the gratitude I feel in my heart after this weekend’s MS Bike Ride. While I never would have chosen to be stricken with this disease that has no cure, I am beyond blessed by the outpouring of support. From our friends that donated, to those that prayed for us, to those that watched our kids so Rick and I could ride together (thank you Kelly Martin!), to those that rode this year and in years past, to my friends that also live daily with the uncertainty of MS…thank you for helping me not feel like I’m going through this alone.

 

 

7 Random Facts About Me

Tina over at Gotta Run Now nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award and asked me to post 7 random non-running facts about myself.  Honestly, Tina has inspired me over the past few years as I have followed her blog and watched her run many races including 15 marathons and a 50k!

Here are my facts.  (A few running related ones may have slipped in, what can I say, it’s a big part of who I am!):

  1. When I was in second grade I was an extra in a TV movie called “A Shining Season – The John Baker Story”.  I got pulled out of class for about a week to film different scenes and remember how fun and interesting it was to be a part of this film about a great man/coach/runner.  Talk about an inspiration!
  2. We take a lot of road trips as a family (because it’s usually too expensive to fly!), and to pass the time in the car my husband loves to listen to books on tape.  I, however, cannot pay attention long enough to follow an entire book through!  My mind ends up wandering and when it finally returns to listen to the story, I’m completely lost!
  3. I have a love/hate relationship with swimming.  I hate getting up, putting my suit on, going to the pool, jumping into cold water, trying to catch my breath the first few hundred meters.  Then, when I’m about 75% done with my workout I starting enjoying it and occasionally will even add a few laps at the end if I have time.  So by the time I’m out of the water I think “I LOVE swimming”!  About an hour later that feeling is gone and I start dreading my next swim.
  4. I have fallen twice on my bike in the past 2 weeks…while clipped into my pedals.
  5. I have fallen twice while running in the past few months…fortunately I was not clipped into anything!
  6. I have one sister and my husband has nine siblings.
  7. I recently read “Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself” by Rich Roll, and I loved it.  It may or may not have planted a seed…

Now, I would like to nominate Kristen at Faith and Margaritas (great name, right?!).  Kristen and I connected a few months ago as fellow runners with MS.  Kristen was diagnosed about a year ago and is staying healthy through diet and exercise (both are so important when you are battling an auto-immune disease).  She is a sweetheart and will be running her first marathon in New York City this November.  I’m so excited for her!

Don’t let me be the only one sharing!  Tell me a random fact about your life in the comment section.

Injection Independence Day

I am celebrating a different kind of Independence Day.  No it’s not the 4th of July, (which by the way was great, my family went camping in Colorado at a gorgeous lake), it is my Injection Independence Day.  For the past 2 years I have been in a clinical trial for a new MS medication.  The trial has consisted of getting an IV Infusion of the trial medication (or placebo) once every 6 months, and giving myself injections of an existing MS medication (or placebo) 3 times a week.  Basically I’ve been on either the trial IV infusion drug or the injection drug the past 2 years, we just don’t know which one.

Getting one of my IV infusions

Getting one of my IV infusions

I recently completed the initial 2 year trial and have been accepted into an open label extension study in which I will receive just the IV infusion of the trial drug every 6 months.  The best part is that I do not have to do the 3 weekly injections anymore.  Hallelujah!

Bye bye needles.  I hope to see you NEVER again!

Bye bye needles. I hope to see you NEVER again!

Now it’s time to rejoice over being done with giving myself the dreaded injections.  (I really do not like needles and this has been a huge accomplishment that I’ve gotten through 2 years of giving myself shots.)  And it’s time to pray that the trial medication, called Ocrelizumab, works well for me and others in helping slow (or ideally stop) the progression of MS.

Hope faith

 

Glad I Wasn’t Racing

As I mentioned in my last post, I went to Lubbock, Texas this weekend to support my husband and friends in the Buffalo Springs 70.3 Ironman.  While I love cheering my hubby and friends on, often times I would rather be racing then spectating.  However, this weekend was NOT one of those times.  With temperatures over 100 degrees and winds over 20mph, I was happy to be a cheerleader at this race.

Praying before the race

Praying before the race

I had a blast hanging out with the other wives and cheering for everyone.  We made the best of the hot day out together.

wives

After the race, my husband was cooling off in the lake and started talking to a couple in the water next to him.  Turns out it was a fellow MS triathlete.  Jim, was diagnosed in 2010 and has since taken up triathlon.  I had stumbled upon his story when I was first diagnosed a few years ago and we corresponded a bit via email.  I can’t believe I got to meet him and his wife.  They both completed the race, which makes me even more impressed with Jim, knowing how much of a toll the heat takes on those of us with MS.  He is a true Ironman.  I love how God works…out of over a thousand racers at this event and my hubby ends up right next to Jim and Cathy!  Hopefully our paths will cross again, and maybe we will even end up doing the same race together some day.

An inspiration to me, Jim, a fellow triathlete with MS

An inspiration to me, Jim, a fellow triathlete with MS

I am so proud of all the racers.  The tough course combined with the weather conditions was nothing short of brutal.  It took its toll on everyone, and to have all 7 of our guys finish the race was a huge success.  A few bags of IV fluids for some of the gang, a quick pack up of the hotel rooms, a celebratory dinner, and 5 hour drive home wrapped up this fun weekend.

I LOVE this picture!  (Photo credits to Sherri for the great pictures.)

I LOVE this picture! (Photo credits to Sherri for the great pictures.)

 

 

 

 

Good Luck Buffalo Springs Ironman 70.3 Racers

While I have been enjoying the last 2 weeks of recovery since my race, my husband has been getting ready for his Half Ironman this Sunday in Lubbock, Texas.  He and some of our friends will be racing the Buffalo Springs Half Ironman, while the wives will be out there to cheer them on.

My hubby (on the left) and friends at the 2011 Boulder Half Ironman

My hubby (on the left) and friends at the 2011 Boulder Half Ironman

This great crew of men that my hubby does triathlon with will all be racing together again in Lubbock this weekend.  The 2011 Boulder Half Ironman pictured above was my hubby’s first 70.3 race.  I’m super proud of all of them for continuing to stay healthy and pursue their passion of racing over the past few years.  They even went as far as doing their first Ironman race all together last year!  They are amazing role models for our families to have (not only are they great triathletes, but more importantly, they are great Christian leaders of their families).  We are blessed to have them in our lives.

While the guys will be out there working hard through the 70.3 miles in front of them, I get to cheer them on with some awesome friends by my side!  Should be a fun weekend!

Running in Coeur d'Alene last year while there for our hubbies to race the Ironman

Running in Coeur d’Alene last year while there to cheer our hubbies on in the Ironman