Contribute To My Cause By CLICKING HERE!
As an ovarian cancer survivor, I will race in 50 triathlons in all 50 states by 50-years-old to raise $100,000 for ovarian cancer research. This campaign is self inspired, self orchestrated and 100% self funded. In addition, all in-kind donations are turned into cash donations by me in the same name of the person who donates. I race for women who have lost their battle, women undergoing treatment and women yet to be diagnosed.

Please help with even a $10 donation!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2011 Recap and Thanks

On this, the eve of Thanksgiving, I want to share how grateful I am for my health and my amazing support team, including a wonderful husband. What a tremendous year of training, racing, traveling and spreading the message of early detection for ovarian cancer. I am often amazed at the direction my life has taken and feel blessed that I have been able to "use" my cancer for a greater good. I sent my triathlon team, Team Total Training, a very brief recap of my 2011 season and wanted to include it for you to read as well. Here goes...
31 states completed to date, $55,000 raised to date.
15 races planned for 2011, 13 completed and 2 cancelled due to weather.
Texas – group of firefighters joined my campaign and raced in their first tri. Very emotional.
Florida – tag teamed it with a family wedding night before the race. 3 hours sleep.
Indiana – the nicest folks yet and good press.
Georgia – Jekyyl Island – incredibly beautiful.
Alaska – moose on the bike course. Need I say more?
North Dakota – floods, race almost cancelled. Only 6 participants but the race went on.
New Jersey – women of Mullica Hill rock.
Kansas – 111 degrees. Heat stroke. Humbled.
Nebraska – Hilliest so far. Who knew?
Louisiana – in August. What was I thinking? 94 degree water.
Oregon – flights cancelled for weather. Never made it.
Tobay – well you know how that went. Hurricane Irene had other plans.
Montana – I want to move to Missoula. No, really!
Rhode Island – first time with a split transition area. I don’t like it.
Bermuda – just for fun. SheROX sponsored me. Nice way to end the season.
I am relatively injury free and still love the sport and the campaign is gaining momentum.
Picked up by several newspapers and radio stations and was on the TODAY show this past summer.
Reaching hundreds of women in an effort to educate about early detection of ovarian cancer.
19 more states over the next 2 seasons. Stay tuned.
Thanks all for your support! I am not on this journey alone.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Biathlon Instead

Just back from a blustery Bermuda, I am happy to report that my 2011 season has come to an end and I am uninjured and still love the sport. Moreover, I have talked to hundreds of women about early detection of ovarian cancer and possibly saved someone's life. And to top it off, my fundraising has crested over the $55,000 mark with 31 states completed. Whew!
The Bermuda SheROX triathlon turned into a biathlon due to inclimate weather. The cove in which we were to swim was a virtual washing machine of current and tide. It was not safe. Coupled with 65 mph winds, the bike portion of the event was barely safe. But in true triathlon fashion, the event went on.
SheROX was an amazing sponsor and gave me a platform to speak at the kickoff party. I was able to educate over 200 women about signs and symptoms of early detection and challenged each of them to tell five friends, with a potential to reach 1000 women. Thank you SheROX for this amazing opportunity.
Now for some physical rest while I start to plan my 2012 season. With 19 more states and $45000 to go and a method of early detection still unsecure, now is no time to sit back. I will be seeking another 12-15 states to race in next summer and as I traverse the country, I aim to talk to more women than this year. If you are in a state that I haven't been to yet, find me a triathlon. Email me... I'd love to hear from you.
A big thank you for all the support this season. There are too many personal thank yous to include here but if you've hosted me, donated, talked me up, shared my link, followed me, hugged me, ran with me or listened to me rant.... thank you, thank you, thank you. I am not alone on this journey and couldn't do it without your support.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Reunion of Sorts

Next weekend is my last race of the season in Bermuda. I am being hosted by the SheROX triathlon series and am so excited to be able to join them. SheROX joined with OCRF this past year and has made ovarian cancer their charity. They learned of my campaign and asked me to join their series. Seems like a natural partnership. Especially exciting is that my husband will be joining me on this one. It will be a chance for us to actually see each other. He is a boat captain and his "season" is the summer. Coupled with my aggressive race schedule and it means that not only don't we see each other at home but we are rarely in the same state. I am looking forward to reconnecting.
The state count remains at #31 and even though Bermuda does not represent another state, I am sure I will have an opportunity to spread the message of early detection for ovarian cancer.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Much Needed Break

Don't be surprised if I go MIA for about a month. I am going into what is called the "off season". Well, truth to tell, not quite yet but a modified version of it. I have one more race in November in Bermuda. This one is important because it is a SheROX event and they have been gracious enough to offer it to me as a way to promote my campaign. But it doesn't "count" because last time I checked, Bermuda wasn't a state. With a modified "off season", I am working at maintaining a balance, remaining uninjured (relatively speaking) and not burning out. I am in this campaign for the long haul and with 31 states behind me and 19 more to go, I want to keep a consistent rhythm. That being said, I plan a 2011 recap post Bermuda and will check in for another post pre-Bermuda. In the meantime, enjoy the transition of the season and all the blessings it brings.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Always Something New

In the tiny state of Rhode Island and in the tiny town of Newport, you are surrounded by water. On one side is the ocean and on the other is the river. Because of yet another storm, the swim portion of the Amica triathlon was moved from the ocean to the river, to make for a more calm 1st leg. This meant there was a split transition....a first for me. A split transition means your bike starts in one place and your run starts in another place. It also means a little bit more planning as you have to divide your gear. We swam at Third Beach and started our bike leg from there. We finished the bike leg and started the run at Second Beach and ended the event there as well.
Here's where I messed up. When I layed out my running gear, there were no bikes in transition. Remember, they were all over at Third Beach. Because transition was a huge beach parking lot, there weren't really any landmarks (trees, signs etc). I counted and noted I was in the second row. When I returned with my bike, almost everyone else's bike was already there (I was in the last wave) and it looked different. I got confused! I counted to the second row but I counted from the wrong side, as we entered into transition a different way than I expected.
"This is not my row; these are not my numbers", I shouted. So for a whopping (wasted) 45+ seconds I traversed the rows looking for #107 and my run gear. Split transition area, confused entry, misplaced gear and loss of time for no good reason except my own.... all firsts for me. I love that after 50+ races in 31 states, there is still a learning curve.
On the bright side, it was supposed to pour rain and we didn't have a drop. I completed state #31 and had the support of my mom, her friend Kathy and her mom, Eleanor. Thanks for making the trip ladies and thanks for hosting me Eleanor! I placed 5th in age which is great, considering the top 3 spots went to some serious ringers. I spoke to at least two dozen women about early detection, many of whom were surprised a pap smear doesn't detect it. And I had a very enjoyable weekend in the lovely town of Newport.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Tiniest State

Just because it is a small state doesn't make it any less significant. Plenty of women in Rhode Island will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year and most of them will die. It's a fact and is confirmed by the CDC. In case you're interested, you can click here to learn about statistics in your state. The numbers are terrible....all the more reason for this campaign.
I will travel to Newport this weekend to race in state #31. Luckily this one is close to home and does not involve air travel. If you've followed my blog at all, you know the traveling component of my campaign has been challenging this year. So although weather forecasts are iffy for the weekend, I have the comfort of my Prius and open road. Now if the rains can hold off, it'll be perfect.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Winding Down

I am thrilled to report with two races left in the 2011 season, I am relatively uninjured and still love the sport of triathlon. Neither of these has anything to do with my campaign but it is an important goal for me to stay healthy and still enjoy my "hobby".
I will save the year in review report until the season is officially over but I am quite pleased with the direction the campaign is taking. Next year looks to be even more exciting.
Rhode Island will be state #31 and Bermuda is just for fun and a lovely way to end the season. My husband even gets to come along on that one.
So while there are still many days left on the calendar before the 2011 season wraps up (November to be exact), I am already seeing the end in sight. It's actually kind of sad.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tell Every Amazing Lady

Tomorrow is the 3rd Annual TEAL walk in Brooklyn. This is very special event and growing larger every year. Started by Louisa McGregor and her sister, Pamela Esposito, these women worked tirelessly to bring vital information and awareness to the ovarian cancer platform.

Unfortunately after a four years, Louisa lost her battle to ovarian cancer. This year's walk will be in honor of her memory.

Another courageous woman who will be honored this year is Gisella Peverada. She too lost her battle this year. Gisella's daughter, also my friend Linda, and her family from Boston will be joining me to walk tomorrow. I am thrilled to be able to participate with them in this event.

So if you happen to be in Brooklyn and near Prospect Park, join us in the TEAL walk. It promises to be a very special event. For more information, go to

Monday, September 5, 2011

So Beautiful

State #30, Montana, was one of the most beautiful places I have been in this country. Called the state of the Big Sky, it was just that. Blue sky as far as the eye could see, dotted with puffy white clouds, clean air and abundant sunshine. 37 degree start to race day provided an unexpected chill but it quickly warmed to 70s. Luckily the water temp hovered around 68 degrees so it was comfortable. I rented a bike so didn't have my usual ride, but the guys at Bike Sky Cycle hooked me up with a solid road bike. And for the first time in years, I had wings on my feet on the run. I credit a cooler core temperature compared to my 100 degree races of this season. All in all a solid race with a 3rd place finish.
Especially exciting was my friend Ann from Washington state drove to meet me for the weekend. We had so much fun and got the opportunity to have conversations that lasted days, instead of hours or minutes. We figured we've known each other for almost 30 years and with the luxury of time and history, we covered a lot of ground in our chats. It fueled my soul. Thanks Ann for making the trip. xoxo
The season is tapering and I have two weeks off before my last state, Rhode Island. I am looking forward to some downtime (if there is such a thing) and am excited about planning next year's calendar.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Third Time's A Charm

Missing two races in as many weeks, I am determined to race in Montana this upcoming weekend. Between cancelled flights and cancelled races for weather, Mother Nature has had a good time with my race schedule. But there is still plenty of racing season left and I will make the most of it. I am headed to the land of the "Big Sky" and will race in Missoula, Montana this weekend. Especially exciting is that my friend Ann, who got me into this sport to begin with, is meeting me and spending the weekend with me. We've even carved out some time to do some white water rafting. I am not usually able to take the extra time but since both Ann and I are traveling so far, I decided to go for it. Not to mention the fact that it is Labor Day weekend and I am clamoring for the last little piece of summer. Is it just me? Or did this summer go faster than any other?
I know some of you may be wondering about Irene too. We faired very well and although the waves were literally crashing in our backyard (I live on the south shore of Long Island), the water level never got to our house. Our front yard saw four feet but again, the house stayed safe. We dodged a bullet for sure. I hope everyone who was impacted by Irene is safe and dry and that the damage was minimal.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The End Of The World

With the monsoons of the past weekend, an earthquake on Tuesday and a hurricane planned for this weekend, Mother Nature appears to be having a grand 'ol time of it. Is it the end of the world, global warming or just an unusual weather pattern? Well whatever it is, it is messing with my race schedule.
Word on the street is that this weekend's race on Long Island may be cancelled. It is my club race with Team Total Training and although I don't need to add NY to my race list, I like racing this particular event. Tobay is a fun race and I get to wear my team colors and see friends that I don't see otherwise. I look forward to it every year.
Added to the fun this year, my friend Kari from Texas was coming to race as well. But with unpredictable weather, she has decided to skip the trip. Disappointed is an understatement.
So stay tuned and we'll just have to wait and see if there is an event on Sunday. Only Mother Nature knows at this point.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Race That Wasn't

These are not the words used to describe my travel experience this weekend. For the first time since the beginning of my campaign, I had to miss a race.
Portland, Oregon was going to represent state #30 today but on Saturday at 2 am, my flight was finally cancelled. It was originally supposed to depart on Friday at 8 pm but with the storms, got pushed. Delta was optimistic it would ultimately leave so although it was getting later and later, I would at least arrive in Oregon by plenty of time for the race. 8 pm turned into 9, then 10, 11, midnight, 1 am... only to be told that although the storms were over and traffic finally cleared, there was no pilot available. Delta was trying to find one. At 2 am, no pilot could be found and the clearance tower couldn't arrange for paperwork (whatever that means) and my flight was finally cancelled. The next flight I could get on was from Newark, through Detroit, through Salt Lake City, arriving in Portland at 8 pm on Saturday night. With a bike and race package to pick up on Saturday, that just wasn't enough time. So the race had to be scrapped.
I guess it's a numbers game. With approximately 60 triathlons under my belt in 29 states, and 4 cancelled flights this summer alone, this is the first race I had to miss due to logistics. I've said it before. The training and the racing isn't the hardest part of my campaign. It's the travel.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Next Stop PDX

This weekend is state #30 and the destination is Oregon for the Portland Triathlon. It feels like I have been counting the states in the 20s for quite some time (well, 10 times actually) so this change to state #30 feels like a big deal. After this weekend I will be 60% complete with my competing goal but only 52% complete with my fundraising goal. If you know me, you know I am a numbers geek. With a degree in math and several number crunching jobs, I eat, sleep and breathe numbers. Truth to tell, my secret shame is doing math problems while racing. That being said, my fundraising is running at an 8% deficit. I am not nervous; just merely pointing out that now is the time to dig deep. If you have already donated $5, consider donating $5 more. If you can't afford to do so, perhaps forward this blog to a friend and ask them to donate $5. For those of you who have contributed several times (and will do so again), thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would not be where I am now without you.
So if you see me out of the course or notice a photo where my brain looks like it hurts, I am probably crunching some numbers or solving some mathematical equation. Crazy, I know but it's my little version of sanity.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

NBC in New York Interviews Me

Thanks to my friend Joann and some persistence, I was able to get an on camera, live interview with Today in New York at NBC. The message is getting out there and hopefully today's show saved a life. In the meantime, tell everyone you know what you learned today and oh yeah, $5 donations.... LOTS of them please. Click here or on the NBC logo to view the video.

Friday, August 12, 2011

And the Diagnosis is Swamp Rot

Kinda gross but in lieu of an actual name for my skin condition, my doctor called it swamp rot. It would appear the yellow jacket sting, which has turned necrotic and gross, set me up for a surpresssed immune system. My body was busy fighting the sting and it's poison and couldn't defend against whatever toxins/bacteria were in the Black Bayou. Yesterday I started breaking out in little bumps. By today, they were over both arms, both legs, neck, chest and a few in my head. With five more races to go and no time to waste, I hurried to the doctor. And that's the story.
I was given steroids and a "wash" to use to keep this at bay. Time will heal the little pustules and an anti-histamine has helped the itching. I am contagious! My husband is not happy. The bigger concern is my bike box and all my clothes and gear. Due to arrive on Tuesday via UPS, it is contaminated and should be quarantined. Gloves, perhaps?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

And Then The Bees Came

This title will only make sense for the folks that know me well so I will leave it at that. State #29, Louisiana and it's 100 plus temps...completed.

A first for me and my campaign, we participated in the expo and sold raffle tickets. First off, a big shout out to my local bike store, Carl Hart Bicycles, for donating so many great items for the raffle. The set of wheels and aero helmuts were a huge hit. Second round of thank yous belong to Sargent John Lee and Kari Kennedy for their unending support of my campaign and help with the expo. We raised almost $750 and were able to educate women about signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. The energy was palpable; everyone seemed very interested and grateful for the information we were sharing. After today's race we raffled off the goods and one lucky lady won a ton of stuff (read: she bought a ton of tickets).

Five minutes before my wave this morning, I was stung by a yellow jacket on my calf. Can you say "hurt like the devil?" The swim felt great albeit over 90 degrees but I wasn't aware of my leg. During the bike my calf went numb and truth to tell, I still have a weird, nervy sensation. The run was brutal and each step reminded me I had been stung. Overall, given the heat and my bee story, I am thrilled. Rocked the swim, slammed the bike (19.6 mph) and well, just did the run but placed 7th in age in a field over 100. I couldn't be happier with the entire weekend. The 3rd thank you belongs to the folks at Clif Bar. They set me up with a bunch of race food when they learned of my campaign. And the last thank you goes to Matt Brown of Sportspectrum for a solid event and for providing me a platform to spread my message.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tickets, Get Your Tickets Here

I am so excited about RiverCities in Louisiana this weekend. What makes this race extra special is that I have been given a platform to participate at the race check in with a raffle. Relentlessly accumulating items for the past year, I am happy to report I have secured about $2000 worth of goodies to raffle. For a donation of $1 (all proceeds going to OCRF) you will get a chance to win an item that will be raffled off after the race. More dollars equals more raffle tickets. Shirts, sunglasses, helmuts, a tricked out set of race wheels, fuel belts.... all really good stuff.
The point is to make money for OCRF but I want to actually meet folks and tell them what I know about early detection for ovarian cancer. I've got my shpiel down to about 30 seconds; I don't want to waste folk's time. But this half a minute of information could save someone's life. So if you are any where near Sportspectrum in Shreveport, Louisiana this weekend, stop by, buy a raffle ticket and come learn something that could save a women's life...maybe even your own.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Name in the News

Great press in the Shreveport Times today!! I am especially excited about River Cities Triathlon because I will be seeing so many friends there. My college roommate from too many years ago lives there. I haven't seen her in about five years. She is part of the reason I chose this particular race. Kari, my "twin separated at birth", that I met in Texas is coming. Sargent John Lee of the Highland Park DPS and his firefighter buddies are coming to race and raise money for my campaign... sounds more like a party than a triathlon, if you ask me.
There will be a "first" at this race too. I am going to participate in the expo. Relentlessly acquiring about $2000 worth of donations of gear and tri stuff, I will be hosting a raffle at the two day expo. All proceeds go to OCRF but more important, I want the opportunity to meet the athletes and talk about signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. This information is vital, can save a life and is why I race. So counting down the days until Louisiana, state #29.... next week.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Smack Dab in the Middle

So I thought the middle of the country was relatively flat. How else can they plant all those crops? From what folks tell me, it's true.... except for Omaha. That's where today's event was held, representing state #28 of my 50x50x100 campaign. Hills, hills and more hills. I saw 36 mph on a downhill so that should tell you something. Of course, what goes down must go up. Until now, Maryland has been the hilliest state. Today Maryland was de-throwned and Nebraska has taken its place.
Great event, very well run and organized. Closed course which was really sweet for the cycle. Hot water to swim in...near 90 degrees. Close to 100 degree temps but with decent cloud cover early this morning. Did I mention the hills? Not just on the bike but the run too. The kind you actually have to lean into, so you don't fall backwards.
I was particularly concerned after my Kansas race of a few weeks ago. With similar temperatures, I held back and took it easier than normal. It must have paid off because I felt terrific after the event. Missed the podium by one spot; took 4th but I'd rather be safe out there... especially with six more event left this season.
Next stop Louisiana. Now that should be HOT but hopefully a little flatter than today.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Next Stop.... Nebraska

It is so funny how time marches on. Back in November, I chose the Omaha Triathlon as my Nebraska race and it felt like light years away. And yet in four days, I will once again board a plane and head to the interior of our country. A sister state to Kansas, I am hopeful the temperatures are a little more in my favor this time.
I am looking forward to meeting the folks of Nebraska and participating in the event. Nebraska will mark state #28 on my 50x50x100 campaign. Over the halfway hurdle, it feels good to know I WILL COMPLETE this goal. Even more exciting is the feedback I am getting from folks who heard about my campaign, one way or another. Many are telling me about lost loved ones to this disease and others share that they are more educated as a result of what they learned/read. I am alive to do this (by a small miracle) and it feels so good to do so. This is why I race.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Racing Smart

If I told you today's race was brutal, it wouldn't paint the whole picture. 110 degrees of Kansas heat. I walked almost the entire 10K part of the run....the first time I walked during a race (except for once, 6 weeks post chemo so I don't count that time). I thought I was having a heart attack. Or a stroke. No really. But what I realized was that my core temperature was dangerously high and it wasn't worth running. Even after the race, I couldn't regain composure. I was dizzy, seeing spots and had numbness in my hands and arms. It wasn't dehydration; it was just too much heat.

After a long rest at the race site, a cold shower, a snack and a nap, I am back to normal and happy to report state #27 is complete. The map is looking pretty full, isn't it?

A very large thanks to race director, Alan and the Kansas River Valley Tri Club for my largest single contribution to date. A whopping $1500 check. Kudos to the Wichita Eagle for a great piece in yesterday's paper (which I will try to post this week), Donovan Auto & Truck Center for a comp car, Bicycle X-Change for my bike set up and the Marriot/Fairfield Inn in Downtown Wichita for my comp hotel room. And of course.... Matty. A special thanks to my step dad for surprising me here and taking such good care of me after the race. Truth to tell, I think I scared the heck out of him. I was pretty out of it. Did I say the race was brutal?

Next step, Omaha Nebraska in two weeks. But tonight, a big hamburger!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

There's No Place Like Kansas

As I channel my inner "Dorothy", I am overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers. Once again, I've been working with an amazing race director who has hooked me up in a big way. My bike was shipped to Bicycle X-Change and they are putting it together for me at no cost. I am being given a complimentary car to drive around for the weekend, courtesty of Donovan Auto & Truck Center. And lastly, three night complimentary hotel is being offered by the brand new, two week old, Marriot Fairfield Inn & Suites- Downtown Wichita. I am so excited to race the Mudwater Triathlon in Goddard, Kansas. It's gonna be a hot one, with temps near 100 this week. No wetsuit for me. Especially exciting is that I plan to be at the expo on Saturday to meet as many racers as possible. And as an added bonus, my stepdad who is on a solo cross country road trip, is planning on meeting me there. State #27 coming up.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Golf Anyone?

While racing in Indiana, a woman named Jenny approached me. She had several personal connections with ovarian cancer is in the health field. So although I wasn't able to "educate" her about signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, she was very interested in my campaign. We spent some time chatting, she took my blog information and wished me success on my endeavor.
Later that week, I received an email from Jenny. Her golf group, Harbour Trees Ladies 9 Hole Golf League, had agreed to do a fundraiser on my behalf. They were hosting a tournament the following week and proceeds would go to my campaign. Especially timely and tremendously sad is that one of their members is battling ovarian cancer at this time. Thoughts and prayers go out to her.
Well thanks so much to these ladies. The checks arrived yesterday! This is the kind of effort that will make my campaign a success. Grass roots and growing, I am reaching more and more people. Donations are coming in and women are learning the vital information that could save a life. Many thanks to the ladies of Noblesville, Indiana for their support of my 50x50x100 campaign.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Queen of the Hill

Yesterday was the Mullica Hill, Queen of the Hill, triathlon in NJ. I didn't need to race NJ again but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do this race. It was their 1st annual race and it was quite special. Complete with a fly over to start, a pristine course, farm fresh blueberries and champagne at the finish and a tiara for the ultimate "queen", this race will clearly become a local favorite. What made the event even more special is that my sister, Kristin, joined me for the first time and it was her first triathlon ever. I am so proud of her, as only about 1% of the population will ever complete an endurance event like a triathlon. We had so much fun and she exceeded her expectations by 15 minutes. Not too shabby for a newbie. Her friend, Jen, came along for the ride and completed her first tri as well. In fact, about 65% of the participants were first timers. It was an all woman's race too. So as you can read, the sport is growing by leaps and bounds.
I feel so blessed to be healthy and able to participate in this sport. Thanks to all the gals in Mullica Hill for the support of OCRF and ovarian cancer detection. You are making a difference. And congratulations to all the first timers for being a triathlete.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wind Will Always Remind Me of North Dakota

Whew! Olympic race and really tough. Wind, wind and more wind. They are pretty used to it here but I am NOT... at least not like this. Pristine, clear water at the McDowell Dam. Not too cold once you got going but brisk to start. Out and back on the bike for 40K. Saw an average of 25 mph on the way out. False sense of security because barely could keep it at 13 mph on the way back. There is no place for the wind to stop so it just gains momentum and literally almost knocked me over. I couldn't even drink as much as usual for fear of taking my hands off the handlebars. And then the run.... well, the run is never my favorite part. Two loops, solid sunshine, grin and bare it.

Looks like I took 3rd. The interesting this to note is how small the event was. There were two races happening, a sprint and an olympic and the total number of participants was 50. Yep, that's not a typo. So the olympic race only had about 20 participants total. There was supposed to be 100 but with the flooding, a race was not foremost in some folks minds. The devestation here really is something.

A great shout out to Dennis and Brian and Epic Sports but putting on a good race. Regardless of size, a race is logistically a challenge to put on. These guys did a great job and with a venue change at the eleventh hour, really pulled it off nicely. Super people too. North Dakotans (is that what they're called?) are very friendly.

Home tomorrow, lots of work at all my jobs to catch up on and New Jersey next weekend. Yes, if you know my map, I don't "need" New Jersey again but that's for another post. Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Water Water Everywhere

Just found out my race in Alaska got some more press. The Redout Reporter, named after one of the big volcanoes in the area, did a spot on Tri the Kenai and captured some information on my campaign. Thanks to Jenny for a great story.
Now I am in North Dakota where things haved turned more serious. The Missouri River has gone way over its limits and has flooded many miles in this area. One of the dams has been opened to minimize damage but it is quite a serious tragedy here. With a good portion of the snow still not melted in the mountains, there is more runoff to be had. This means the situation won't improve for several months. I went to a historic museum today and was able to climb a tower. The overview of the area was staggering, as you could see for miles. Houses under water, fields flooded, roads gone...
I am so blessed to be loved, safe, warm, dry and healthy. I must remember these things everyday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Really Big Check

How awesome is this?! I feel like I won Publisher's Clearinghouse. Tri The Kenai presented me with a $1000 check after the race. Tony, the race director, had the check enlarged for the presentation. How fun. The race is only in its second year and it is a small local venue so the check is really quite substantial. Tony also put a link on the registration page for people to make additional donations. I want to thank everyone who donated. There were lots of $5 donations and that's the all adds up. I am still in awe of the weekend. Alaska has topped my list for favorite races. And results are in. Looks like I took 3rd in age and 13th overall. I'm pretty happy considering all the "firsts", like the tri bike and the cross country run. Thanks again Tri the Kenai for a great event. Next stop, North Dakota this weekend.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mission Accomplished

What a wonderful day on the Kenai Peninsula. The weather cooperated in a big way. With an overcast sky and a 39 degree start to the day, I was concerned about warmth. But the sun came out strong, the skies were blue, the course was great and state #25 is complete.

It was a big learning day for me too. Lots of firsts! As you know, I was on a tri bike for the first time, thanks to Beemuns. Slick sled and fun to ride. There was no bike rack and each racer had to bring a stand. I heard it's an "Alaska thing" but it worked out well. I like the designated amount of space I had. Guess what? I saw a moose on the bike leg. Yep... a moose!

And lastly, the run was a cross-country trail run. Whew! Pretty tough but really pretty. Thanks to all the Alaskans for the hospitality and warmth. Thanks to the race directors for putting on a great event and providing a platform for press. Click on the Clarion link and read today's article. And a special thanks to my hosts Bob and Lanie for feeding me and giving me a warm bed. Next stop North Dakota next weekend.

My Sweet Ride for Tomorrow

Well as you know by now, I am in Alaska. My 25th state triathlon is tomorrow and for the first time, I did not travel with my own bicycle. The race director was kind enough to enlist the
support of the local bike store, Beemuns, for my race day wheels. A BIG shout out to Beemuns, because they exceeded my wildest dreams. I am riding a Trek Speed Concept tomorrow and the best part is that it is TEAL, to match the color for ovarian cancer and to match my tri suit. They could not have been more generous and more supoortive of my campaign. Thanks guys!!! So although I left my teal Trek Madone road bike at home (actually, she is on the way to North Dakota), I am riding a silver and teal Trek tri bike.

There are so many firsts for this event. For the first time, I won't be on my own bike and I will be on a tri bike. The fit is different and I am sure I won't do it justice, as I just won't have the time to learn how to best handle it. For the first time, there are no racks in transition and I will be using a homemade stand. And for the first time, the run portion is a trail run. It all should make for an interesting event.

Again, thanks to Beemuns and the guys for making my life easier and a little sweeter.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

As Far North As I Can Go

I leave this week for state #25, Alaska. It is the furthest I will travel north and I am extremely honored and excited to be racing the Tri the Kenai triathlon, on the Kenai peninsula. Alaska represents the halfway point on this journey and 50x50x100 campaign. Everyone is asking if it is going by quickly and the answer is "yes" and "no". It feels like ages ago when I proclaimed this campaign but it also feels like yesterday when I was racking up states #8 and #9. But slowly and one state at a time, I am traveling the country and talking to women about signs and symptoms and early detection of ovarian cancer. I am truly blessed to be alive to do this. While 21,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, 15,000 will die. For all intents and purposes, I should have been one of those. But for some reason, I was spared. I am filled with gratitude as I embark on this long, cross country journey and reminded on a daily basis, that I have an opportunity (and perhaps even an obligation) to make a difference. This is living life!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Why Tri?

A friend sent me this recently and although I don't know the original author, it echos so much of what I feel.

Why Tri?

Author Unknown

I tri for the doubters who question my resolve.

I tri for the younger me who never got involved.

I tri for the times that I never thought I would.

I tri for the believers who told me that I could.

I tri to contemplate what life is all about.

I tri for the former me who struggles to get out.

I tri for my family, my neighbors and for you.

I tri so that others may see they can too.

I tri not for glory, notoriety or fame.

I tri very happily just being in the game.

And of course, my own addition... I tri for women battling ovarian cancer, those who have lost the fight and those yet to be diagnosed.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Past and Present Update

First from Indiana, meet my friends Carl and Oscar from Kentucky. We stayed in the same hotel while racing state #23 and they caught up with me post race to take this photo. This is family fun at its best. Carl and Oscar are father and son! You two are lucky to have each other to "play" with.

Yesterday was the pristine, Jekyll Island of Georgia, representing state #24. Look at these mansions! Good crowd, warm ocean temperatures with a lovely current in the direction of the swim and a 2nd place finish for me. Truth to tell, two Olympic events in back to back weekends and I am hobbling. Because it is a barrier island on the coast of Georgia, it is flat. Now you may think that's a good thing but it means no variety in terrain and so no change in muscle use. For my body, it is actually better to have the variety. So by mile 4 on the run, I was suffering and limping. But I REFUSED to walk and just kept passing people one at a time.

A first in this campaign was the logistical snafu of my flight being cancelled four hours before departure. Weather, they said. So scramble I did, to find another flight but not until the next morning. It made for a stressful, whirlwind 40 hour trip, including several hours of driving to Jekyll, 2 layovers, and 4 states. Not to mention the most expensive airline to bring my bike on ($200 each way) and an airport that didn't have a large enough scanner for the bike case. So TSA had to unpack my entire bike, with its 100 pieces and repack it. A nail biter for sure but "she" arrived safely and I got to inspect each piece as I assembled her. Not the smoothest trip but that's not what this is about.

This is about ovarian cancer awareness and fundraising. Some of the details are just too funny not to include. Next stop, ALASKA for the half way race.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Youth of Long Beach

It started with a radio show on WGBB. I was on the same show as a couple of the winning hockey team guys. The DJ, Halftime Howie, suggested a wing eating contest between the Long Beach hockey and wrestling teams to benefit my campaign and OCRF. The event was last night at Just Wing It in Long Beach. That's the background.
I had no idea what to expect when I arrived at 7 pm. But within 15 minutes, at $5 per person, high school students were lining up at the door to witness this event. Armed with a Sharpie pen at the door, I was marking hands as fast as the owner could collect money. A tiny storefront, the room was packed within the hour. We went live on air at 8 pm; the excitement was palpable. I got a chance to speak on air and while the boys glossed over and didn't want to hear about ovarian cancer, their girlfriends listened with wide open eyes and seemed to take in my every word.
The contest was a riot. Six members from each team had 20 seconds to eat as many wings as possible. Team Wrestling won by 12 wings, probably eaten single handedly by their "main man".
So while the boys strutted their stuff and the radio show continued, I approached the high school girls and talked about early detection. I told them to tell their friends, mothers and sisters what they learned. Amazing to me was how many thought a pap smear was the diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer.
Thank you Howie for coordinating this effort. We raised some money and I reached a new, younger audience.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hot Off The Presses...The Star Press

No photos from camera had "issues" but here is a pre-race video. I think I've said this before but I can't say enough about Muncie Multi Sport and what they did to help me promote my campaign and awareness for ovarian cancer. I know someone's life will be saved because of this weekend!

And a special thanks to the Muncie Star Press for the awesome page 2 article in the Sunday paper. Click on the icon to view the article. State #23.... check!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Too Excited To Wait For Photos

Just finished state #23 in Muncie, Indiana and while I normally wait until I am home and can upload photos, I am busting at the seams to share my day and can't wait. Muncie Multi Sport put on this incredible race and I have to thank Steve Tamboni and Rich Morris for treating me like a queen. They embraced my campaign and went "all out" to provide a platform for me to spread the message about ovarian cancer. From Facebook and Twitter posts, a link on the race home page, teal wristbands for every athlete, announcements from the bandstand pre-race and mic time so I could introduce myself to the athletes, a morning radio show on WLBC FM, the newspaper interview and a shout out post race.... I can't begin to thank them enough.
The venue was gorgeous and the rain held off. I was in the zone and had a really good outing. Running has been my weak sport but rather than dread it, I psyched myself up during the run, telling myself, "I am a good runner and I can't wait to run". Well it must have worked. I took 1st in age but more important, it was a really pleasurable experience. The last Olympic distance I did was downright painful and this one wasn't.
Well Steve and Rich and their families are taking me to a fairwell dinner so I have to run. There is no way to thank them for this amazing experience. I KNOW we made a difference in some woman's life.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What Do You Get When You Cross A Chicken With A Charity? amazing event! Some of you will remember I was on WGBB (1240 am, Long Island's first and oldest radio station) a couple of weeks ago. Broadcast from the Beach with Halftime Howie asked me to come on the show and talk about my campaign and ovarian cancer. The show went really well and live on the air, he offered to host a wing eating contest to benefit OCRF.
Next Tuesday at Just Wing It in Long Beach, the Long Beach State Championship Hockey Team will take on the 6th ranked Long Beach Wrestling Team in a wing eating contest. There will be raffles and prizes and fun for all... guaranteed!
Now I've never been to a wing eating contest before and I never envisioned combining it with raising money for my campaign. But we have an opportunity to raise some money and awareness and educate the folks of Long Island about ovarian cancer. So why not? It should be a hoot.
So come out and join me and the competitors for an evening of wings, laughs and fund raising.

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Territory

If you have followed my blog, you know I am not new to racing triathlons. My triathlon history started in 2005 and I have been non-stop since. Indiana will represent state #23 of my 50x50x100 campaign and I can easily double that in total races overall. I have lost count. BUT, I have never attempted two Olympic distances in as many weeks. To further this challenge, I will be competing in four races (3 Olympic, 1 sprint) in the next six weeks.... Indiana, Georgia, Alaska and North Dakota. All while juggling a couple of jobs, not sleeping much, sitting on a bunch of airplanes and spreading the message about fundraising for ovarian cancer. I try not to get ahead of myself or I would be tired already. It's day by day. That being said, the distances are a little overwhelming and I am a little nervous.
The outpouring of support from Indiana has been nothing short of amazing. The race director, Steve, has been onboard with my campaign since we connected last year. He has press and radio lined up and is really helping me to spread the message about ovarian cancer and early detection. A big shout out to Steve, who I have yet to meet, but to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. New state, new competitive challenge.... it's all good.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Where Do You Bank?

JP Morgan Chase is donating $5 million to worthy charities and the first round is complete. Yesterday, 100 charities were awarded $25,000 and will move on to round 2. I am not sure of the details of round 2 but there is another $2.5 million up for grabs. It was all through Facebook and the Chase Community Giving Campaign.

The amazing news is the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund was one of yesterday's winners and recipient of the $25,000. Way to go voters!!!! We are not done yet. On May 19, please log on and vote for OCRF in round 2.

Now I am not telling you where to bank. But with such bad news at every turn and economic downturn spiraling further, it is nice to know there is an institution giving back. Chase has my business.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Air All Booked

I made my last plane reservation tonight. With fuel prices going through the roof, airline prices have followed. I wanted to lock in my flights now before prices go any higher. So with 15 races this season, 12 of them require air travel. YIKES. Well I knew the 2011 season was going to be my most expensive. And you should see my frequent flyer mileage! I am hoping that next year there will be a few free tickets from all the globe trotting this year.

People have often asked me what the hardest part of this campaign is. It is not the training, it is not the racing. By far, it is the logistics. So with all the flights secured and that step behind me now, I can rest a little easier and concentrate more on what matters.... fundraising and passing the message about ovarian cancer and early detection.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away

Living in the northeast, I struggle with winter training. This past season was particularly tough with the frigid temps, ice and mountains of snow. When the calendar turns to April, I hope for warmer temperatures to be able to resume outdoor cycling. I usually can run outside all winter but I am a fair weather cyclist. My indoor bicycle trainer is set up in my garage and I torturously log miles while listening to my iPod. Basically, I hate it but it has to suffice. Long story short, this April has not lived up to my expectations. It has been cold, windy and oh, so rainy. I have scheduled several weekend bicycle rides with friends, only to franticly text the night before and the morning of to question, "Should we? Shouldn't we?" We never do. I've got some pretty big races coming up (IN, GA) in a couple of weeks and was hoping for a few dry days to put up some outdoor miles. In the words of my mother-in-law, "Alas, so it goes".

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I was contacted by the race directors in Indiana today. Muncie Multi Sport will host my next race in Muncie on May 14. To show their support of my campaign, they have purchased teal wrist bands for all racers and will have them in the race packages... all in an effort to raise awareness about this disease. Such a small thing can have a big impact. For example, most folks don't realize that TEAL is the color for ovarian cancer. So when someone sees a teal wrist band, hopefully they will ask..."hey, what's that for?" It is a grass roots effort and information is spread one person at a time. Thanks to Rich and Steve for helping to spread the word. I really appreciate the support.

Monday, April 18, 2011

State #22.... Check!

Whirlwind weekend for sure. Flew in to Florida on Friday night and went straight to a pre-wedding dinner for Jesse and Tovah. Saturday, picked up bike at bike store, test ride, race check in, package pick up, quick swim in the very ROUGH ocean to literally test my sea legs, a quick nap and then off to the wedding. By 11:30 pm when dinner hadn't been served at the wedding, I decided to take my leave in preparation for the next day's race. It was a great event but a cousin of mine asked me at 11:15 pm, "Why are you in heels the night before a race?" I figured it was time to shift gears and get into tri mode. A big congratulations to Jesse and Tovah on the nuptials. I was so glad to be able to be there for the event. Sunday 4:30 am came awfully quick (with 4 hours sleep) and off to the races I went. 1000 very buff Floridian racers! Luckily the ocean was more calm then the day before and cooperated with flat conditions.

The race went well. Temperatures were perfect and I gave it my all. Interestingly enough, I learned I don't need to be a slave to my pre-race eating habits. I have some flexibility and my stomach is forgiving. I placed top 10 in age, which given my wedding activites, seems quite good. Post race, it was a quick shower and on to the wedding next-day brunch. And then a very long nap. Whew.... home again. My bike is en route to Indiana now. Looking towards my next race in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Next Stop... The Sunshine State

I depart for state #22 on Friday, to race in the Florida Atlantic University Wellness Triathlon. I am really excited because although I raced in Texas last month, this race marks the beginning of my non-stop schedule. From now until November, it'll be "go man go". I am feeling fit and ready to educate women about ovarian cancer and signs and symptoms. If I happen to kick some triathlon butt along the be it. This is also an exciting weekend because I chose this race as a tag team event to a family wedding. The night before the triathlon, I will be attending a 7 pm wedding for my husband's family. A big shout out to the Agler family and specifically Jesse and Tovah on the big event. I am so happy to be able to attend. The long and short is that I will be exhausted for the race and clearly will run on fumes. But hey, that's living life to the fullest. It'll be a big weekend with 3 family events (Fri, Sat and Sun) and a race thrown in there too. Can't wait.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Off To A Good Start

With 21 states completed and the first one under my belt for this season, I am thrilled the campaign is gaining traction and getting attention. The more press that get involved the more lives that will be saved. It is a win-win situation.

With that said, I am thrilled to announce that I am Triathlete of the Month, voted on by the Amica 19.7 Triathlon Series. With ten races to their credit, they have a lot of athletes to pull from. Amica learned of my campaign because I registered for their Rhode Island event in September. From there they contacted me and wrote up a story, all in an effort to promote awareness of ovarian cancer. If you can, send the link to one of your friends. Who knows? It may save a life.

Monday, April 4, 2011

And 2 Makes 15

So in the words of my husband, if some is good... more is better. In following that theme, I am adding another 2 races to my season. I don't really need these races/states (actually Bermuda isn't a state) but I can't help myself. So many little time.

Truth to tell, both of these races have meaning for me. Queen of the Hill is the first race the Mullica Hills Womens Tri Club will host. It is a BIG deal to put on a race and I want to be there to celebrate the event and cheer on the many women who will race for the very first time. The SheROX race will be special because as of this year, the SheROX series has chosen OCRF as their official charity. The people at SheROX learned of my campaign and have invited me to Bermuda to end my season with their race. I am very excited and I think my husband is even more excited, as he will join me for that one!

So the total is up to 15 races this season and that's where it will stop. NO MORE. I just can't.... she said with a grin.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Grass Roots Effort

As you know by now, I spoke to about 75 women from the Mullica Hills Women's Tri Club on Thursday night. It was a huge success and I asked each woman to go home and tell 5 friends or family members what they learned that evening about ovarian cancer and early detection. Well here is an example of one woman's commitment to do just that. Cheryl is one of the members, turned self proclaimed tri-addict last year. Cheryl now keeps a blog of her efforts and gave me a shout-out after Thursday's presentation... all in an effort to reach more women and save more lives. To read her blog, click here or on the photo header above. This is a grass-roots effort and not just for women. Every PERSON (men and women) can play a part in saving lives . Learn what the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer are and be proactive about knowing your body, watching your loved ones and speaking up. It's so hard and so simple. But so necessary!