2015 MS 150 Mile Bike Ride

This past weekend I rode in the New Mexico Pedal los Pueblos MS 150 mile bike ride.  It was my fourth year of participating in this amazing event.  I was diagnosed with MS in March of 2012 and have rode every year since then to help raise money and awareness for MS.

My husband and I drove up at 5am Saturday morning to Santa Fe where the event started.  About 20 minutes into our drive we got a flat tire on the freeway and had to pull off the road.  I am fortunate to have an incredibly handy hubby who was able to quickly change our truck’s tire and get us back on the road.  We made it to the event just as the first cyclists were starting for the day.  We hurried to get our bikes ready, met up with our friend, Rick, and were quickly on our way.  I knew it was going to be a long day, riding 100 miles is never easy, so I wasn’t stressed that we got a bit of a late start.

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We had great weather and the ride was beautiful.  The MS Society does a wonderful job of getting volunteers for aid stations every 10 miles and they provide us with lunch, as well as tons of encouragement along the way.  My favorite rest stop was around mile 80, when it was getting quite hot out, and we pulled up to find fresh ice cold smoothies being made with a blender-bike.  So cool!

IMG_2165A little bit after the smoothie stop my husband got his second flat of the day, this time on his bike!IMG_2167We finally made it through the 100 miles and that night we were treated to dinner and a presentation by the MS Society and got to spend time with friends that also ride every year.  Then it was time for some sleep to get ready for Sunday’s ride.

IMG_2170Sunday we were joined by another friend to ride with us and set off on the 53 mile bike route.  We were treated to another beautiful weather day and it was a great wrap up to the fun weekend.

IMG_2180IMG_2182It is hard to believe this was my fourth year of riding.  I’m blessed to have the health and ability to be able to continue to ride and I do not take that for granted.  I am so thankful to those of you that rode with me, sent me sweet messages, donated, and encouraged me.  It means the world to me.  I will not give up fighting for my health or fighting for a cure MS.

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I am an Ironman Again!

I did it!  Second Ironman completed in 7 months on Sunday in Coeur d’Alene. It was the most brutal day of my life racing in 105 degree heat. Like nothing I have ever experienced nor would I want to again. However, in the midst of big challenges, while sometimes on the brink of complete despair and my body wanting to shut down, I found moments of great joy and felt God blessing me.

More details and pictures to come once I get home and recover a bit.  I sincerely thank you all for the many Facebook, Twitter and text messages that encouraged me all weekend long.   Thank you to my amazing husband and friends that were out there in the record breaking heat just as long as I was cheering me on, you each deserve a medal too.  Thank you to my friends and family (my sister that flew in to stay home with my kids) for your support throughout my training and every day of my life giving me the strength to continue on this journey.  Lastly thank you to God for carrying me and the other athletes safely through the day, I gave my all for your glory.

 

Ironman Goals

This Friday I leave for Coeur d’Alene to race my second Ironman in 7 months.  After finishing my first at Ironman Arizona in November, I knew I wanted to do another one, but I didn’t realize it was going to come so fast!

My husband raced Ironman Coeur d’Alene as his first Ironman 2 years ago and we loved how beautiful the area was.  So when we decided to pick another race this was it.  Another big selling point was that it is typically not too hot at this race vs. most other North American Ironman races.  This is an issue for me because heat can dramatically affect those of us with MS, and I’ve been known to end up in the medical a couple times after running marathons in the heat.

As luck would have it, there is a massive heat wave that will be hitting the Northwest just in time for my 140.6 mile adventure this weekend.

Weather

Current forecasts show anywhere from 99 – 107 degrees for race day.  I can’t even wrap my head around that at this point.  As if racing 140.6 miles wasn’t enough, now I “get” to do it in an oven.

Though I’m not going to stress about it.  What good would that do anyway?  The things I know for sure are that it will be hot (to me anything over 80 feels hot, so what’s a few more degrees?) and I know it will be hard.  What I also know is that I am not a quitter and I have not been training hard and sacrificing the past few months just to give up because of the weather.

The good news is that I won’t have any pressure on me to try to go fast and beat my Arizona Ironman time.  Heat and pushing your body to go faster would be a bad combination for me race day.  So instead, I will be smart, utilizing all the cooling gear and tricks I can think of, and go as slow as I need to and just keep moving forward.

That being said, if I were to come up with some goals, here they are:

  • Enjoy the day and be grateful for the gift of health that has allowed me to get to the start of an Ironman
  • Be smart, hydrate and fuel well, slow down, then slow down even more
  • Do not end up in the medical tent
  • Finish before 16 hours and 59 minutes
  • Hear Mike Reilly say those 4 famous words to me in the Finisher chute

For updates over the weekend, follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/milesandtrials and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MilesAndTrials

CDA

 

 

 

 

3 More Weeks Until Ironman #2

I am still around, even though I have not posted much lately.  I suppose family, work, and Ironman training are keeping me a little bit too busy right now.  In addition to all of that, I was out of town for 4 out of 6 weekends throughout April and May.  Whew, that just sounds exhausting and it has been!

So, how I have been fitting in training for my second Ironman with all of life’s craziness going on?  Well, I’m doing the best that I can.  With the traveling, it was definitely hard to hit my workouts and it gets old having to plan (and stress) how I’m going to swim/bike/run in different places.  What I have come to realize is that I can do the best I can, and the rest I just have to let go of.  Sure I’d love more training time, sure I’d love to feel more confident going into this race, but the reality is that isn’t my life right now.  The other reality is that I do this for fun and fitness, and to help stay healthy to better fight my MS, and that is what really matters.

I have a few more really long hard workouts to do in the next week, and then I’m going to kick back, enjoy my taper and get ready to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112, and run 26.2 all over again.  And with any luck I’ll be a 2 time Ironman Finisher in just 3 more weeks!

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2015 Boston Marathon Recap

I arrived in Boston Saturday night and made it to the Expo first thing Sunday morning to try to avoid the crazy crowds.  I wandered around for a bit after getting my number and bought some arm warmers because the weather report was rapidly deteriorating.  Then I went to get my annual picture by the Finish Line.  It is very motivating and fun to see all the people by the Finish Line getting excited for their race the following day.

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The talk of the town was what to wear on race day due to the temperature getting colder and colder and the rain and winds increasing every time I checked the weather.  I had brought a skirt and tank top to run in, but began thinking that might not be enough. Fortunately my friend, Sheilah, that I was running with had an extra pair of capri tights and an ear warmer for me to use.  And I had bought a short sleeve running shirt for my sister at the Expo that I ended up deciding to wear.  (Sorry, sis!)  I’ve never been so unprepared clothing-wise for a race before, but the past 2 years I have felt overheated while running Boston, so when I packed to fly there, I never expected the weather to get so blustery.

The final weather report before the race.

The final weather report before the race.

Race morning was uneventful, I got up, ate a banana and some oatmeal, dressed in my race outfit plus 2 extra layers of throw away clothes to keep warm before the start.  I met Sheilah and we boarded the bus near the Boston Commons and began the long trek to Hopkinton.  It is a sobering feeling when the bus ride to the starting line takes almost an hour and you realize that you have to run the entire way back into the city!

When we got to Athlete’s Village (the waiting area until your wave of the race starts), it was cold and windy, but hadn’t started raining yet.  We decided to bypass all the crowds in the Village area and began walking toward the starting line.  We had about an hour and a half until our wave started so we stopped near a grocery store where there are a bunch of porta-potties set up and we found a small alcove area where some other runners were hiding out to try to get out of the elements before the race.  We sat and talked with some really nice people which helped put my nerves at ease.  Before we knew it, it was time to walk to our starting corral.  My super fast friend, Sheilah, was scheduled to start in the wave before me, but was sweet enough to wait around to start and run the race with me.  (You can read about our fun time running last year’s Boston Marathon together here.)

Lining up to start the race

Lining up to start the race

Seconds before the starting gun went off.  In our rain ponchos.  I don't know why we brought our sunglasses!

Seconds before the starting gun went off. In our rain ponchos. I don’t know why we brought our sunglasses!

Finally the gun went off and we started our race.  The rain began coming down so we decided to keep on our ponchos and a layer of throw away clothing to stay warm.  We ended up keeping both on until mile 24 when we decided to shed the extra layers and just get to the finish line as quickly as possible!

The race was a blast as always.  The spectators did not disappoint.  They were out there in their usual force, despite the wet and windy weather.  These are some diehard people!  I was most impressed with all the families with small children out there handing out water and oranges in their rain gear.  This is one of the things that makes Boston such an amazing race!

We didn’t let the rain and wind dampen our spirits.  While 26.2 miles is never easy to run, it is much more fun with a good friend by your side.  At points we just had to laugh when a big gust of wind would come and almost blow us backwards.  Sure the weather was not ideal, but how can you complain when you are running the best marathon in the world?

3 hours 53 minutes and 45 seconds later, we made it to the finish line in Boston, and I completed my 3rd Boston and 12th marathon!  And Sheilah completed her 6th Boston and 17th marathon!

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I want to thank everyone for all the comments, best wishes, and support.  Every time we crossed a timing mat, I knew people were getting updates and following along with us. Thank you to Klean Athlete for providing me with nutritional supplements that help keep my body going (I used the Klean Endurance Tabs and Electrolytes during the race, and the Klean Recovery after the race).  I am beyond grateful to Sheilah for making this another memorable Boston and birthday (which was the day after the race).  And I am thankful to my family and friends for their support of my training, racing and traveling endeavors.  And most of all I’m thankful to God for giving me the health, strength and ability to continue to take on these adventures.

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Psalm 118