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!

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Best Year Ever



I am very happy to report that my fundraising totals have crested over $83,000.  2012 was my best year to date and I have YOU to thank for it.  Without the support of my family, friends and followers, I would not be able to realize this 50x50x100 goal.  I am on track and the $100,000 goal is well within my grasp.
On this the eve of 2013, my wish for you is the best year ever.  My wish for all of us is a world without ovarian cancer. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Calendar is Set

Always an exciting time of year, I have spent the month of December chosing my races for 2013. With only eight more to plan, it seemed an easier task...except for Michigan.  For some reason, Michigan was the hardest to chose.  A wide selection but in far away locations, not near major airports but in crystal, clear and pristine waters... I labored over it for too long.  I am happy to report the races are chosen.  Registration isn't open on these races yet but I have been in contact with the race directors and know the dates for 2013.  Of course, until registration is open and I am confirmed, this isn't set in stone...but I am hopeful that my planning will be rewarded with smooth "sailing" and no cancelled events.  If you've been following me, you know that Michigan (yes, THAT Michigan) proved to be a hiccup last year when suddenly the race date was changed.  Cancelled flights, hotels, a car...it was a mad dash that couldn't be rescheduled.  So keep your fingers crossed that all goes according to plan.  And of course, stay tuned for more updates.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Greetings

Wishing you and yours the very best this holiday season!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Festival of Lights and Gratitude



After yesterday's tragic news from Connecticut, I can only count my blessings.  As the news is streaming in, I had to pry myself from the tv because of the profound sadness overtaking me.  My heart goes out to the community and the families affected.  Moreover, I am filled with gratitude for all I have.  My goal is to take nothing for granted.
On this last night of Hannukah, I want to wish all of you peace.  May the miracle of this holiday find its way into your own lives.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Calendar Update

If you look on the right sidebar, you'll notice my 2012 calendar is gone and MY FINAL SEASON has found it's place.... Alabama is booked!  Dates will start to fill in fast now so check back often.  If you are within driving distance of any of these places, please come see me!  It is a tremendous year and I want a big push in making a difference in the fight against ovarian cancer.  And even if you aren't in driving distance, consider joining me at any destination for the fun of it.  Hawaii, anyone??

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Warmth Near and Far

This is "Ollie" the oil burner.  He arrived last weekend and after almost five weeks without heat, I am happy to report I am warm again.  Life is slowly returning to normal.
On another warmth note, the date for my last state (#50, Hawaii) is set for November 24.  I am spending a fair amount of time planning this one because I want it to be special.  Seems like I've got friends and family coming from California, Texas, Alaska, Washington and New York.  Anyone else interested in joining me to celebrate this milestone?
Also, I am closing in on dates for the last eight states.... Michigan hangs in the balance but I hope to be able to post dates and races before the new year. 
Now....the holidays.  Collectively breathe with me and say to yourself, "I am not going to let them get to me this season".   It's not about the shopping or the parties.  It's not about the cards or the presents.  This year, more than ever, I am reminded that the holidays are about being loved, loving others and being grateful.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fight Consumerism with Giving Tuesday


"There's Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and now charities are starting what they hope will become a national day for giving that will join the holiday lexicon: Giving Tuesday", according to ABC News.com.  Read the full article here.   Well I for one, like the idea.  I have not been a fan of shopping for (pretty much) my entire life.  I also don't like buying gifts for the sake of the holidays.  I'd rather stumble on a perfect gift in May and buy it for someone because I care about them, was thinking of them and wanted to do something special for them.  But this idea of Giving Tuesday, I can get behind. 
I didn't participate in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday.  But today I am going to pick three charities (not my own) and make a donation.  It just feels right.  I encourage you to do the same and of course, don't forget that my campaign qualifies.  Happy Giving Tuesday to all!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Making Strides

I am happy to report... it seems the worst is over.  Our neighborhood no longer looks like a war zone and instead looks like everyone decided to renovate their home at the same time.  It will still take months (and years for some) to recover from Hurricane Sandy but it now feels there is life beyond this tragedy.  To that end, I started looking at my race calendar for next season.  I reached out to some race directors and am happy to report, some of my 8 states are planned.  Details still need to be ironed out so until then, I will keep you in suspense.  Eight (states) is the magic number and with the clock ticking, there is no wiggle room this season. 
There are many that lost much more than me in Hurricane Sandy and as we approach Thanksgiving, I can honestly say I have much to be grateful for.  I am alive; I have beaten cancer.  I still have my home; the Village didn't condemn it.  I have some of my utilities turned back on.  I am loved.  Despite the last 3 weeks, I have gratitude.  It's all about keeping it in perspective.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Post Sandy Update

Sorry for the gap in blogging but life has been a little hectic on Long Island.  Hurricane Sandy hit us very hard and we have been busy in recovery mode.  We lost the entire first floor and as of this writing, still don't have a furnace so, no heat.  Mother Nature thought this amusing and dumped 7" of snow on us last week too. We are safe and in relatively good spirits.  Neighbors have been helping one another and friends have been generous as well.  I've showered at several friend's homes and pawned laundry off to others. Thanks to all my angels!
The house is gutted and awaiting rebuilding.  There are so many worse off than us; I really can't complain.  It was just a major hiccup that will take months to recover from.  Luckily it is the "off season" and I have more flexibility and no pressure to train.  Call it "cross-training". I may not be swimming, biking and running but hauling appliances and sheetrock is quite a workout!
Please excuse any further gap in posting.  Very shortly I will start getting my 2013 schedule in place and advise when the final EIGHT states will happen.  In the meantime, I hope you and your families are safe, warm and dry and recovering from Sandy in the best way possible. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Seeking Balance

This is the time of year I work harder.  My professional life takes a back seat come spring and summer as autumn is usually when I take on more projects.  Reduced training and less travel enables me to say "yes" more often and tick off things on my to-do list.  That being said, stop the train... I want to get off.  What is it about the people pleaser in me that has to say "yes" to everything?  Where is the balance?  Sure the bank account is looking good so I can cover next season's campaign but is that all it's about?  I haven't worked out in three days, haven't seen my husband in over a week and don't even want to admit my sleeping habits. 
If you know me at all, you know I believe in writing down your goals.  That's really what this post is about.  I want to affirm my commitment to seeking better balance throughout this particular professional stretch. 
  • I will take more time for my family and friends. 
  •  I will find time to work out, even if it is only a half an hour. 
  • I will sleep more. 
There... I've written it down.  Now for everyone reading this, please challenge me to stay true to my word.  It begins tonight with a solid eight hour sleep and continues tomorrow with an 11 am massage.  At least I'll have 24 hours of balance.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Change of Stroke

I am very fortunate to live near two pools.  Freeport Recreation Center is literally a mile from my home with an outdoor Olympic size pool (in the summer) and a standard 25 meter pool for the rest of the year.  Eisenhower Park hosts the amazing aquatic center in the photo with lots of 50 meter lanes and several teams to work out with.  For years I worked out with TTT (Team Total Training) but due to schedule constraints, I recently had to search for another group.  Enter Excel Swimming and a batch of new coaches.
This entirely new approach has me completely undone but I trust it will improve my swimming in the long run. Logistically I have to get used to the new schedule.  This means a few extra early mornings as I swim with a Masters group at 6 am.  So much for my 6 am wakeup (which is considered "sleeping in").  Now I have to be at the pool at 5:50.  And then there's half a dozen new coaches to get used to.  These are swimmers, not necessarily triathletes and they take their sport very seriously.  I recently read if you want to improve at some aspect of triathlon, hang with the single sport folks.  In other words, swim with swimmers, cycle with cylists and run with runners. 
Suffice it to say, they are revamping my stroke, have me working on bilateral breathing and breathing from my belly button.... no, really.  It is awkward, clumsy and slow but I can see where this will pay off by next season.... I hope.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Where Are My Gloves?

On this, the first really chilly morning of the season, I found myself scrambling for things misplaced since early last spring. With the triathlon season behind me and almost four weeks of inactivity and healing, I am getting a bit antsy and counting days until I can begin exercising again. A self-imposed goal of six weeks "off" seems like forever now but I'm sure my body will appreciate the time. So with two more weeks to go, today's activity included running around my house looking for my gloves. Does that count as exercise?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Year In Review

11 states this season with a total of 42 completed to date.  If you do the math, that means 8 left for next season and the campaign is over.  Truth to tell, I would like to slow this whole machine down.  States 15-35 are a bit of a blur; I was trying to tick off numbers and somehow missed them.  I know I was present at the time but the details elude me.  Now that I see the light at the end, I want to really "experience" each moment.  Goal for next season... slow down and maybe even stay an extra day in each state so I get to take in the local culture. 
But first, a recap.
  • Tennessee - took 1st in age, nice way to start.  Amazing hospitality from some new friends I've met along the way (in Bermuda last season).
  • New Mexico - backwards event.  Run, bike, swim.  Memorable moment.  A 10 year old comes up to me during the run and says, "So like...is this your first?"
  • South Carolina - cousin John was my driver and all around assistant.  Very nice indeed.
  • Oklahoma - met friends Kari and John from Texas. Always more fun with friends.
  • New Hampshire - took 1st again and nice to be so close to my old home, Boston.  Thanks to Facebook, friends saw I was there and drove up that morning to surprise me.  The power of social media!
  • Missouri - HOT... had to walk part of the run.  Firefighter John from Texas decides at last minute and joins me.  Borrowed a slick sled from the RD.  Specialized.  Hmmm?  Worth considering for my next bike.
  • Colorado - the week before the movie theatre shooting.  I was in that exact theatre the week before.  Still kinda freaked out about that.  Homemade bike from my buddy Willie.  It wasn't pretty but she flew.  Averaged over 19.5 mph.
  • Minnesota -  Friends Ralph and Carrie hosted me.  A soaker.  The only race of the season in the pouring rain.  I guess that's not too bad.
  • Idaho - C d'A, the most beautiful place on earth.  Thanks Ann for joining me.
  • Wisconsin - the smallest race and the locals with the biggest hearts. 
  • Arkansas - joined by crazy Texas friends again.  So fun.  In the zone...race of my lifetime.  Took 1st in age again and capped off the season feeling strong.
Other things to note.  I still LOVE this sport.  I am relatively uninjured.  Well... not injured enough to really complain about.  I met hundreds of people and got a chance to spread the message of early detection.  The press was cooperative and the campaign got radio time, in newspapers and on tv.  I crested over the $81,000 mark and am on track to reach my $100K goal.   But first a month off from impact activities.  No running and no biking.  Only yoga, weights and swimming.  And probably not a lot of blog time.  I will ramp up again in about a month and start planning 2013. 
Thanks to all for the support and love along the way.  I couldn't do this without you.  Stay tuned.


Monday, September 17, 2012

TEAL to PINK

This Saturday, September 22, I will be speaking at the Teal to Pink Women's Awareness Day in Montclair, NJ.  I am especially excited to be participating in this day long event in an effort to promote awareness of breast and ovarian cancers.  Since Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month are back to back (September and October), I was approached about joining forces.  It seemed like a natural fit and a great idea.  Proceeds from the event will go to benefit research for both of these cancers.  The day will be jam packed with speakers, a comedian, a zumba class and meditation.  I am looking forward to participating as much as presenting.  So if you find yourself anywhere near Montclair NJ this Saturday, please consider attending.  If you can't attend, consider creating awareness in other ways.
  • Paint your toe nails TEAL
  • Wear a TEAL ribbon
  • Wear some TEAL clothing
  • Call five of your friends and ask if they know the signs of early detection
  • Be the messenger!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Great Ending and a Dinosaur

This season could not have ended any better.  Toad Suck, Arkansas representing state #42 and the end of my 2012 season.  My faithful friends, Kari (aka KK) and John (aka Google) from Texas drove and met me.  John surprised us with new tri kits...don't we look terrific?  It's always so much nicer to race with friends.  Beautiful venue, cool temps (believe it or not) and some killer hills.  Longer distance and I felt very strong, except for the bike but more on that in a minute.  Took 1st in age which is a great note to end the season on. 

The bike... well, let's just saw it was an older version, as in dinasour.  Because I have been renting this season instead of incurring the expense of shipping, I never quite know what I am going to get.  This one was a gem.  Beggars can't be choosers but I should have known something was amiss when the owner didn't have the right tool to put my pedals on.  Luckily I always bring my own set of tools.  TSA loves that by the way.  Designed to have many gears, this bike wasn't going to cooperate and gave me TWO gears to choose from.  Gear #1 and gear #2.  Did I mention it was a hilly course?  Well it made for some interesting conversation (with myself) on the bike course and a photo op of me throwing it in the trash post-race.  The upside is that I was so happy to get off the bike, I actually looked forward to the run.  That's a first.

Now I give myself six weeks to rest, sleep a little later, heal, recover ....and then back at it for 2013.  With eight states left, the end of the 50x50x100 campaign is in sight.  Truth to tell, I want to hit the brakes and slow it down.  In an attempt to charge through states, I missed some moments along the way.  I always try to "keep it in the day" but it's almost impossible.  Next year I want to really take it all in, slow it down and relish every state.  But first, a celebration of this year.  That means ICE CREAM tonight.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Grand Finale

 
 

It's been a long 2012 season but the last race of it is this weekend in Toad Suck, Arkansas.  If you've followed my blog, you know that Toad Suck was named "Most Unfortunate" town name a few weeks back and that only serves to increase my interest in this town and in this event.  Having never heard the name before, it is exciting it is top news only a few short weeks before my arrival.
So far the race director, locals and press have been very supportive.  I am equally excited to see some of my buddies from Texas, who have committed to join me in any event that borders their home state.  What a great end to the season.
The remainder of September and October will be spent healing, resting and recharging for 2013.  I have eight (8) more states to complete my goal and while I have had wiggle room in determining my schedule in year's past, there is none for 2013.  But I will work out those logistics later this autumn.  First things first...Toad Suck, Arkansas awaits.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and did you know the color for ovarian cancer is TEAL?  In an effort to promote awareness, I am excited to be participating in several events this month.  The first series of events will be Community Yoga at Breathe N Flow Yoga Studio in my hometown of Freeport, NY.  Every Friday's 4 pm Vinyasa class during the month of September will benefit my campaign and OCRF from donations made by attendees.  There is no official charge for the class and instead is "donations only", with all proceeds going directly to the cause.  I hope to attend most of them to be on hand to answer questions and add a "face" to this deadly disease.  As you know, there are few survivors of ovarian cancer so it is one of my goals to offer hope and be a representative.
Join me and the gang at BNF Yoga Studio for Community Yoga on Fridays at 4 pm during the month of September and help raise awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Just For Fun

As if 11 races aren't enough for one season, I had to do my local club race in Oyster Bay this weekend.  My "New York race" was completed long ago but this event is so much fun, I couldn't help myself.  To make the event more exciting, my buddy KK from Texas flew up and raced with me.  She was supposed to join me last year but the hurricane had other plans for us.  The weather cooperated this weekend and we had a blast.  We took NY by storm with theatre, biking, visiting, walking, ice cream, sightseeing, a team party... and of course, the triathlon.  I am exhausted today and would do it all again in a heartbeat.   Thanks KK for making the effort.  And the best part is I will see her again in two weeks when she joins me in Arkansas.  Woo hoo....can't wait.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Little Is The New Big

This little town of Portage, Wisconsin has a big heart.  What a terrific day and what a great event.  I met some incredible people and the outpouring of support actually produced tears.  For starters, a big thanks to the race directors, Mike and Heather Frank, for a quality race, an introduction to a killer bike store and the local press, announcing my campaign over the PA more times than I can count, putting a donation jar at registration and then MATCHING those donations with a fat check to come home with.  Wildside Adventure hooked me up with a sweet sled.  Thanks to Peter and Joel for taking such good care of me. Thanks to Jen McCoy who did a good story on the campaign in the Portage Daily Register.  Click here to see it.  And a special thanks to all the folks of the community who made me feel so welcome.  Of special note are the survivors I met this weekend.  At today's race I met FOUR ovarian cancer survivors.  In a race of about 400, that's a pretty staggering number.  It felt so good to share this with my fellow "survivor sisters".  So state #41 is complete; I am officially in single digits.  Next stop, Arkansas.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wisconsin and Then....

Off to Wisconsin this weekend to race state #41 in Portage.  The Silver Lake Triathlon should be spectacular in pristine waters and on rolling country roads.  I have already been made to feel like family with the outreach of support from the race director and the press.  In fact, I am hopeful for an article in today's Portage Daily Register.  I will add the link once it is up.
But as a coincidence, the following town and state where I am racing was in this week's news.  Toad Suck, Arkansas where I will race the Toad Suck Triathlon was voted "Most Unfortunate Town Name".  Read the article here.  I remember when I registered wondering why on earth something would be called Toad Suck.  Apparently the history is rich and dates way back.  I actually like the name and think Toad Suck should be very proud of their history AND their name.  It makes for a good blog post.  So bring it on... but first things first.  Wisconsin this weekend. 



Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Real Life

Often I am asked if I work.  Or if I am retired.  Or if I am independently wealthy.  HAH!  The answers in short.... yes, no and gosh, no.  In fact in addition to the training, racing and traversing the country, I have a very full life that has nothing to do with ovarian cancer and triathlon.  The entire campaign is 100% funded on my own dime and luckily, I am self employed so in command of my own schedule.  But other than that, I am like most folks with a "real life" which includes work, family, friends and many obligations.  But this isn't meant to be a complaint post.  I love my over-flowing life very much.
I also love my husband!  This week he had the honor of being inducted into the Massapequa Hall of Fame.  This is a photo of him delivering his acceptance speech.  Don was chosen for his work with the environment and for his participation in a group called Operation SPLASH.  It is indeed an honor to be recognized by the town he grew up in and the evening was quite special.  I am so proud.  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

What Was I Thinking?

My schedule got a little mixed up this week.  I'm battling a hip/leg injury that has my running on hold but after a week of rest, I wanted to test the waters.  So I had a short 4 mile run planned for today.  I was supposed to go out at 6 am before the heat kicked in but justified sleep over the wake up call.  Family plans had me busy until 2 pm and a major thunderstorm was scheduled for 4 pm so my running window was very small.  With 90+ degrees and almost as much humidity, I attempted my run.  Have you ever had the experience that you feel as if you just might boil to death?  I mean your insides, your blood and all other bodily fluids coming to a full boil?  Well, that's how it felt.  I wound up running for about 3 1/2 miles and walked the last 1/2.  It took a full hour to bring my core temperature down.  And unfortunately, I am only a smidge better with the rest.  This too shall pass.  But really, what was I thinking?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Voted The Most Pristine Weather

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho gets voted Most Beautiful Weather in my book. Upper 50s in the morning, 80s midday with gentle breezes, strong sunshine and no humidity, I am ready to pack my bags and move.  Race the River was a spectacular event with a ripping current in the Spokane River.  For the first time ever, I was first out of the water. That was a highlight of the event and shows my pool time is paying off. Coupled with the start of the Olympics, I had some good motivation for a solid event.
A big shout out to my best bud, Ann, who made the trip from Seattle to meet me and keep me company.  It is because of Ann that I was introduced to the sport of triathlon so it's always very special when she joins me. En route home with a week off from racing and then on to Wisconsin. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

40!!!!!

 
It seems the states between 30-39 took forever to complete and yet, here I am at state #40.  It is hard to believe the end is in sight and truth to tell, a little depressing.  The big question these days is "what will you do when the campaign ends?"  I don't have an answer but as I am driven by a dangling carrot, I'm sure I will think of something.
I remember saying at some point that I wanted to finish this campaign having accomplished the obvious goals (fundraising, public awareness) but also wanted to be uninjured and still LOVE the sport.  Well, I'd be lying if I didn't admit I have some aches and pains.  You can't race and sit on a plane (and work full time) this much and not have injuries but all in all, I am doing pretty darn well.  And I LOVE THIS SPORT.  I plan to keep racing for a very long time. Last weekend in MN, a 70 year old woman beat most of the 50 year olds.  I want to be her when I grow up.
But first things first...off to Idaho to Race the River (the Spokane that is) and see my best bud, Ann....who is the one who started this whole, crazy triathlon thing.  Can't wait!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I Am A Runner

So excited to have been able to see so many friends on this trip to Minnesota, representing state #39.   These friends go "way back" and I am convinced nothing replaces history, even when time passes by.  I love you guys!
The River CityTriathlon in Chaska, Minnesota was a soaker.  Early lightning and thunder gave way to torrential downpours.  It was a challenge for sure and on a rented bike, I was conservative.  I figured there wouldn't be a podium finish for me today.  But apparently, I was wrong.
Here's some history.... After my chemotherapy, I sort of lost my running legs.  I was never ever to recover my youthful splits and typically posted 9 or 10 minute miles.  I told myself, "I am not a runner anymore" and I was ok with that.  Afterall, I had progressed in my swimming and cycling and was able to be very competitive in my age group.  That was before I met the self-proclaimed Freeport Nautical Milers.  If you've followed my blog, you know I have a crazy group (11 in total) of dedicated runner friends that I meet at 4:30 in the morning.  Since running with them a year ago May, I have watched my times go down and down and down and even posted a sub 8 on one of our training runs.  Thanks to them, today I told myself, "I am a runner" and was able to pass almost all of the racers who passed me on the bike.  Woo hoo.
That's one of the cool things about triathlon.  At any given point in your training, you are better at one sport over another.  This year is the year of the run.  Yet another step towards putting my cancer completely behind me.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Swimming Hickey

The swimming portion of the sport of triathlon can be very aggressive.  I've come home with cuts, bruises and lumps from the kicking that ensues from trying to claim one's space.  It is not uncommon to come home after a race, do a body inspection and see marks like the one in the photo.  However, I didn't race this week.  This particular blemish appeared after a swim practice with my team this week.  How on earth....?  Dubbed the swimming hickey, I believe I must have crashed into a lane buoy at some point.  We were doing a 1500 meter time trail and so there was passing going on.  At some point I was pushed up against the lane buoy to allow a third person up the middle.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Way Up North

I am headed to Minnesota this weekend for state #39 in Chaska.  The Chaska Triathlon has been so supportive and I want to thank the race director for connecting me with the press.  I interviewed with the Chaska Herald and hope to have a story in the paper two days before the event.  It's been a learning process with the press but what I discovered is that if the campaign gets some press a few days before, race participants know who I am and approach me (or are more approachable) the day of the event.  That means that women (and men) are more receptive to the information I share about early detection of ovarian cancer.  That's the point after all.  So a big shout out to the RD for helping make an impact in Minnesota!
On another note, selfishly I chose Chaska for it's proximity to several of my friends.  I've got three people I am visiting while in the area for 60 hours.  It'll be more of a whirlwind tour than usual but worth it to be able to connect with "old" friends along the way....all at 46 degrees latitude.  Now that's way up north!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Taking Care

After seven races this season, my body is starting to fatigue.  Five more left to go, I've clearly gotten over the "hump".  Yesterday, in between working a split shift, I took care of me.  I went to my chiropractor and my massage therapist and fit in a yoga class last night.  If it wasn't for all these modalities, there is no way I could keep up this pace, compete the way I do, travel as much and function at this level.  Dr. Sue and Vivian are a vital part of my healthcare and I feel so grateful to have found them.  They are part of my team!  Breathe N Flow Yoga has become an integral part of my training as well and my body is stronger for it.  Thanks to my instructors Liz and Kristin for keeping me strong, limber and balanced.  I don't always have time to fit in a day like yesterday but when I can add just one of these components to my training, my body rewards me with pain-free moments, a spring in my step and a more positive attitude.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mile High City



At 5280 feet, this race proved to be one of the most challenging but also one of the most special.  SheROX triathlon series is in partnership with OCRF so the reception was very welcoming.  The speaking platform was provided at the awards ceremony and I was able to carry the message to almost 300 women.  The survivor's wave was quite large and several women, including members of Team Hope, approached me afterwards for hugs and tears.  Some with success stories and some with stories of women who lost a battle, this is why I race.
A big thanks to Willy (a friend of a friend who is now a friend of mine) for building a bike for me.  Once a bike mechanic and bike shop owner, Willy now rides and tinkers with bikes for pleasure.  It was indeed an honor to meet Willy and his family and expand my circle of support.  Averaging over 18  mph, my homemade sled was pretty sweet.
As for the altitude, well... it proved to be a tough swim but I recovered nicely on the bike and run.  I wound up taking 4th place which is thrilling considering the circumstances.  All in all, a really great race in the Mile High City of Aurora, Colorado.  State #38 complete.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

SheROX Colorado

Colorado bound this upcoming weekend for state #38 in the SheROX Triathlon.  Happy to report I will not be any where near the tragic fires of Colorado Springs; I will be racing near Denver in Cherry Creek.  The name of the game will be elevation for this one... something I am not used to at sea level.
A shout out to the folks of SheROX and especially the race director, Barb, for the support of my campaign.  Last year SheROX partnered with OCRF in an effort to bring information about ovarian cancer to women across the country and raise much needed funds for research.  It's a great coincidence how my campaign began with a women's triathlon for OCRF and is coming full circle with this event.  I am very much looking forward to this event, as it will be my only ALL FEMALE  race of the season.  It's always a treat to be surrounded by women in sport.  Now if only the air and oxygen will hold out....


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Definitely Rural

video
In the middle of nowhere...that's where today's race was.  On the private residence of the Tong Family farm, I completed state #37, outside of Joplin, Missouri.
Here are the highlights: 100 degrees, hot, corn fields, 81 degree water, armadillo roadkill, Route 66, did I say hot?, rented bike from RD (photo included), sweet sled, Sargent John Lee, painful feet, pristine farm, super nice people, pulled pork and ice cream post-race, 1st place in age, did I say hot?
Next stop, Colorado.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Forecast: HEAT

In the most southern, western tip of Missouri is a little town called Joplin.  That is where I will race state #37 this weekend.  The Summer Roundup Triathlon is calling for temperatures in the high 90s with lows only in the 80s for the race start.  Water temps are hovering around 80 as well, making it a NON-WETSUIT event.  Of course, it's for safety reasons but boy does it make a difference swimming a mile in a wetsuit.  The swim is easier and faster in a wetsuit, saving precious energy for the bike and the run.  But it is not meant to be.
The last time I raced in temperatures this high was last year, in the neighboring state of Kansas.  That will forever be etched in my mind as my worst event.  I clearly had heat exhaustion and walked the 10K.  Hours of lying horizontal on a picnic table recovering and hydrating and I was finally able to drive back to the hotel.  I am really hoping this weekend will not be a replay of that event.
But in true Jenn spirit, I will chose to focus on the positive.  The race director has been terrific and the venue seems beautiful.  And state #37 is on the horizon. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Much Needed Weekend

No race this weekend.  Catching up on laundry, work, life, time with my husband and training with friends.  Racing and traveling around the country is kinda lonely sometimes.  Not that I am complaining but when I train with friends, I am reminded how much energy I draw from them.  A 25 mile ride yesterday seemed effortless in the company of Suanne and her sister, Andrea. A six mile run this morning went by in a flash thanks to the company of my friend Pamm.  It really is more enjoyable to "play" with others. 
Next weekend is a different story.  Joplin, Missouri.  New state, no friends meeting me there but Rufus Racing and the race director have been very supportive already.  I am hooked up with a tri bike thanks to the RD (I even think it is her personal bike) and have a potential television spot on WKSN.   Looks like it'll be a really fun event.  And state #37.  You know the drill by now.... all in an effort to raise awareness of ovarian cancer.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Holy Lily Pads, Batman

I can't really explain where this title comes from.  All I know is I was swimming in a very dark lake this morning, streaming over hundreds of lily pads and this is what I kept saying to myself.  I have NO idea why but 8 hours later, I find it amusing.
State #36, New Hampshire....check.  Here are the highlights.  I met Dawn, but not Melissa.  They are the gals who did the radio interview/podcast which apparently quite a few people listened to.  That was cool to learn.  Thanks again to them for the sponsorship of my entry.  The money I saved ($75) on the entry was turned into a donation to OCRF by me.  So they directly (and indirectly) helped the campaign.
Surprise, surprise...my friends Colleen and Linda saw my post on Facebook this morning and decided to show up and support me.  What an awesome feeling to see them and hear them cheer.  Thanks gals for making the trek.
It might not mean much to some but the photo of me racking my bike is significant because it shows I was the FIRST bike in... that is a first for me and a pretty awesome feeling if I do say so myself.   I really rocked it today.  Averaged 20.2 mph on the bike.
Of particular note is a woman named Laura that I met today.  She heard my radio interview and after experiencing "some symptoms", went to her doctor the next day.  Happy to report she is fine but this is why I race.  Empowering women to be proactive about their bodies is how this campaign will save lives!  Thanks Laura for sharing your story and for affirming that I am on the right track. 
What a day!

Monday, June 4, 2012

"O" is for One Fantastic State

Representing state #35, Route 66 Triathlon was an impeccibly produced event that did not disappoint.  The kindness of strangers, the hospitality of the event coordinators, bike mechanics, bike store and press was true to southern style.  I felt welcomed and the campaign was very much supported.
A special thanks to Steve, the race director, who introduced me to many folks with links to ovarian cancer.  We started building a network months before I even arrived.  When we finally did meet, it was as if we were friends for years and there were hugs all around. 
Shout outs to Roger, Christy, Team Becky, Steve at Schlegels, Marty, Glen and of course my Texas buds, Kari and John for an awesome weekend.  I think we were able to touch many lives this weekend.  On a more somber note, many women are no longer with us because of this disease and this race was dedicated to them.  Nancy Gartman, Nanci Cacossa and Dee Dee Miller were with me the entire day.  I have often said "I race for women in treatment, women who have lost the battle and for women yet to be diagnosed" but this past weekend, it was all for the ones who lost the fight.  It was indeed a special event.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

On Air in New Hampshire



Live from WSMN in Nashua, New Hampshire... Click here for a live link to my broadcast and podcast from Tuesday, May 29.  Sponsored by Melissa and Dawn of Relaunch Career Associates, these ladies not only paid for my entry to the Nashua Triathlon but had me on their weekly radio show.  It was a fun experience packed with information for the local women of Nashua, all in an effort to save a life.  We chose to not script the interview and be casual and organic and it came out better than any other interview I've done.  Thanks to Melissa and Dawn for the financial and promotional support of my 50x50x100 campaign.  See you at the finish line!  But first... Oklahoma this weekend.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cross Training

Have you ever done a ropes/zip line course?  High in the tree tops of Catamount Mountain in upstate New York, I participated in a three hour test of fitness this past weekend.  Previously terrified of zip lines, I am happy to report I conquered my fears.  It wasn't about the height really; more about the stepping off.  Truth to tell, it was about being "out of control" but given the (perceived) cushioning of the trees and plush underground, it somehow felt less dangerous.  The zip line became the easy part with the bulk of the challenge being the physical strength, balance, coordination and endurance to traverse wires, ladders and ropes 50 feet off the ground.  Especially as the day went on, the fatigue took its toll, sometimes rendering my muscles useless, quivering and barely able to hang on.  Yes, we were strapped in at all times and clipped on to platforms, guide wires and elements at every station.  I was fortunate enough to go with 12 of my friends and family members and what made it particularly exciting was being able to look out into the forest and see a familiar face in a neighboring tree.  Like we were a family of monkeys, we chattered and waved to each other as if to say, "look at me".  This morning my body has bumps and bruises and cuts and scrapes to remind me of the weekend's events and I can honestly say, I can't wait to do it again.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Another Country Heard From

OCRF from Australia
Ovarian Cancer is not a United States problem.  It is global.  In fact, in Australia three women are diagnosed every day.  I mention Australia because in my research, I stumbled on another OCRF.  Not the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund that you often see me write about but the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.  And this "down-under" OCRF, celebrated yesterday with a White Shirt Day.  Here's an excerpt from their website.
The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) is proud to present, for the second year, OCRF White Shirt Day. On May 19, Australians are invited to show their commitment to fighting ovarian cancer and supporting the thousands of Australian women and their families who are affected by this insidious disease.  The OCRF White Shirt Day is an OCRF initiative to garner collective support for this important cause.
It warms my heart to know there are "sister" organizations around the world doing exactly what we are doing here in the US.  But wouldn't it be even better if these organizations could be put out of business?  That's the real goal. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A First on the 34th

State #34 complete... South Carolina.  A big thanks to my cousin John who found and rented me a bike, picked me up at the airport, drove 12 hours in 2 days carting me around, across state lines, all in an effort to support me and make my life easier.  Another thanks to my hosts Larry, Shirley, Emily and Shasta for putting us up during our southern stay.
Now for the first... bike issues. The hills of Clemson were very technical.  Many altitude changes in the Smokey Mountains with technical turns makes for lots of shifting.  As this wasn't my regular "sled", I have to blame it on operator error.  But I dropped a chain.  Bummer!  So for the first time I had to pull over and watch many of the folks I already passed, pass me by while I fixed it.  I caught a few of them again but my podium finish went by the wayside.  Overall a solid race.  Killer swim and average run..wound up with 5th.  Strong triathlon community down there; lots of elites showed up to race.  Always fun to be toe to toe with the best of the best.  That's one of things I love about this sport.
Next stop... Oklahoma. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Shift In Perspective

Up until this very race, this very state, people have asked me, "How many states have you completed?"  For some reason, there's been a shift.  Now I am asked, "How many states do you have left?"  Isn't that the most exciting turn of the English language???!!!!
I know it sounds kinda silly but counting UP has taken several years and was psychologically harder.  Counting DOWN seems like more fun and will certainly go faster.  So with South Carolina on the horizon for this weekend, there will be 16 states left upon completion.  Out of curiousity (since I was obsessing about numbers) I decided to count how many triathlons I have done in TOTAL.  South Carolina will be #52.  Now that's a big number.  So I've decided I want to meet 52 people this weekend to spread the message about ovarian cancer and early detection.  Why not?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Help Takes Many Forms

Enter Shelley August Designs.  Through a friend, I met Shelley virtually.  When she learned of my campaign, she contacted me and asked how she could help.  Having lost her mother to ovarian cancer, the subject is near to her heart.  As a jewelry designer she suggested making a TEAL item and donating it so the proceeds would benefit my 50x50x100 campaign. To date, I don't have a raffle for my campaign so I didn't know how that would work.  OCRF saw an opportunity and suggested she create a line of jewelry to be carried on their website, with 20% of the proceeds benefitting my campaign.  Other non-teal specific items bring in 10% for the cause.
This is a win-win situation and shows me that help does not have to come in the form of direct donations.  Thinking outside the "charity box', I am finding that my campaign can benefit in many other ways.  If you like shopping, if you like jewelry, if your mom might like one of these items for Mother's Day, please consider supporting me through Shelley August Designs. I've already bought a pair of earrings.  So I guess, I helped myself.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Best of Luck to my Friends

This upcoming Sunday, May 6, is the Long Island Marathon and I have several friends participating.  Although I am not a marathon-er, I can only imagine how brutal the event is.  It is not known to be the prettiest route, nor the most spectator friendly. In fact there are strips of it where there isn't another soul to be seen.  Coupled with un-tree lined parkways and sunshine baking down midday; it makes for a tough event. 
I wish my running buddies the very best.  May your feet be swift and the winds be at your back. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day

This is a photo of Dagny and today is her birthday.  Although she is gone and has been for three years, she is still very much part of me, my life and my memory.   She was with me for 17 years and for a dog, that's a really long time.  Part shepherd, she was loyal.  Part terrier, she was willful.  One of my dearest friends gave me a rose bush when she passed.  Today I sang "Happy Birthday" to the rose bush.  My neighbors probably thought I was crazy but then again, they are used to seeing me running at 4 am so, crazy is as crazy does. Or something like that.   Anyway... happy birthday dear one.  I  hope you are enjoying a soft serve vanilla ice cream today.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

espnW - Hot Off The Presses

My video from espnW is out and I can't say enough good things.  I hope it goes viral so the message of early detection can be spread.  If you haven't made a contribution to my campaign, now might be a good time. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quick Update

From the hotel computer, I just want to give a quick update on today's race.  Representing state #33, NM was a backwards event that proved to be a hoot.  I guess my body REALLY liked the reverse event (run, bike, swim) because I took 1st.  But moreover, I felt invincible.  My run was a PR and although there was a fair amount of congestion in the swim, I had so much energy, so much power, so much FUN.  Altitude did not play a role and the weather was pristine.  Thanks to my cousins Janette and Butch for flying in from San Diego to support me and thanks to my mom, well, for just being the best mom ever.  Big shout out to the guys at BikeSmith for a solid rental and good support.  More after I get home and can share photos.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Party In New Mexico

This week I leave for state #33, New Mexico.  Especially exciting is the fact that my mom, my cousins from San Diego and my good friend from Texas will be be joining me there.  #33 is turning into a sort of party.
The other interesting fact about this race is that it is a backwards triathlon.  The usual order of events is swim, bike, run.  But for some reason this Coyote Carrera Triathlon is run the opposite way.  So instead on Saturday, I will run, bike and swim.  I have no idea how that will feel or how I will do; I am excited to try something different.  Having done so many races, it is easy for me to fall into a routine and get kind of bored.  This will stretch me, take me out of my comfort zone and provide me with a new challenge.  How fun is that?  Stay tuned.



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Motivation


If ever I needed motivation, these books are perfect.  I just finished Lynne Cox's Swimming To Antartica and marveled at her ability, tenacity and courage.  At age 14 she accomplished feats most people can't even dream about.  This book is about swimming, family, challenges, politics, one woman's ability to make a difference... and I encourage anyone and everyone to read it.  After finishing her book, I rolled right into Iron War by Matt Fitzgerald.  More than a story about one event, this book includes the history of triathlon as well as the history of a lot of athletes.  I am desperate to go to bed at night so I can continue reading. 
Last night's chapter was on the sociology of the sport and what "makes" an endurance athlete.  Why do we challenge ourselves like this?  Why do we endure the pain?  Why are we constantly seeking a greater challenge?  All good questions and ones I have asked myself.  Here is my favorite quote of the day.
"The magnitude of satisfaction that a triathlete experiences upon crossing the finish line is directly proportional to the amount of suffering he/she has to overcome to get there."  Hmmm?  Something to think about.

Monday, April 9, 2012

ESPNw

Last week was pretty exciting.  I returned home from Tennessee, representing state #32.  My results were much better than expected, with a PR in the water and my fastest run split since before I was diagnosed.  I owe the water success to my triathlon club, Team Total Training and my running success to my early morning running friends.  Biking used to be my "ace in the hole" but this year may be different.
More exciting was the email I received last Monday.  ESPNw picked up my story and came to interview me for 6 hours on Wednesday.  Swimming, biking and running, they followed me around and wanted to learn about my diagnosis, my treatment, beating cancer and the 50x50x100 campaign.  The story will be on the website (hopefully by the end of the month) and may be picked up by the network at some point.  This represents the largest platform I've been able to spread the message to.  Thanks to the folks at ESPNw for helping to bring this vital information to women. 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Borrowed Sled

A big thanks to the guys at MOAB for hooking me up with my borrowed bicycle for tomorrow's race.  At the advice of the race director, I contacted this store and they were able to find me the right size bike.  When I went to pick it up today, there was no charge....the kindness of strangers is amazing.  Thanks to all the guys who fielded my calls, searched for the right size sled and fit it for me today.
Speaking of the kindness of strangers, I am a house guest with some pretty awesome people that I met in Bermuda last racing season.  Over a plate of Salt & Pepper Tofu (the likes of which I have never had before and would give my right arm to replicate), I met Joe and Candice.   We got talking, as strangers do in a foreign place, and Candice offered me her card saying, "When you race in Tennessee, come stay with us".  And here I am.  Once again on this amazing cross country journey, I am blessed to be meeting people who not only provide me a bed but feed me and open their home as if we are life long friends.  Here's the bonus... now we will be life long friends.  Thanks to Joe, Candice and their daughter Taylor, for the warmth, support and friendship.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Let the Season Begin

After what seems like an eternity of planning, I am always amazed when the first race of the season actually arrives.  Wasn't it just a few short months ago that I unpacked for the last time?   With a prolonged 2011 race season, my last race was in November so actually, yes.  I did just unpack a few months ago.  But this time I was smart about it and rather than put things back in drawers, I created a "tri box" in the garage and once clean, everything went there.  It made packing for this upcoming weekend a little easier.
On April Fool's Day, my 2012 season will officially begin with the state of Tennessee.  This represents state #32.   To say I am excited is putting it mildly.  I have a very strong feeling this will be my best season ever.  Networking opportunities are popping up and I am confident the message of early detection will reach a broad audience this season.  Fundraising is going extremely well as I have nearing the $75K mark.  So with 72 hours to go, most of the logistics of my 12 races complete (sans a few flights, hotels and car rentals), my body strong and fit..... the only words I can think of..... BRING IT!