Friday, December 30, 2011


I have had my fair share of cancer battles. ... I am confident I have won my own personal war against this life-altering disease. Society has a label for someone like me: 'A Survivor'. Though the terminology might be appropriate to a degree, I do not think of myself as `A Survivor', but rather a person who has been given a fair share of blessings because I had to [fight] my own cancer fights. I consider myself 'A Conqueror'. ... My cancer battles helped me evolve as a person, made me a more enlightened soul, one who appreciates each and every moment I have here. Unfortunately, too many people forget this.

Mother will always give me inspiration!

Today was not a ride day - not exactly a rest day, but no ride -

Among many things I did today, starting at 5:00 a.m, I came across the last writing my mother gave me in an email in July of 2007.  My mother died in February of 2010 of multiple systems atrophy (long horrible way to leave) -  Anyway, in 2007 I had just blasted out my first real website.   When my mother saw it, her response is the following email to me was:

  "It is beautiful.  Worth every penny.  When can I expect to receive a picture?  I want to hang it up.  You are beautiful, living proof that exercise and believing in yourself, that you can accomplish anything, is vital to success.  I am so proud of you and all you have done.  Love Mom"

Sitting here tonight, exhausted, looking at photos of my mother and reading her very last email to me (she was ill for a long time) -- I just want to share how important it is/was that my mother was proud of me.  And that she is always with me telling me to keep on pedaling, reminding me not to quit before the miracle.   I would not be who I am today without her example of hard work and perseverance.

Thank you Mother - You died too young and I wish you were here for another new year, but I keep you close in my heart.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

HOT up in those hills today!

westridge to various places by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Well, after not riding for the last two days and a 15-hour work day yesterday, I could not wait to get out today!
There were so many hikers and dogs out on Westridge. Guess a lot of people off work. My suffer score on Strava was 243 out of 249, so that tells you something. And if you look at my heart rate on the link above, you see I was SURE TRYING!
See what Coach Lou has to say about today. She is traveling back home, so I am not in trouble yet.

I am not sure, but it seemed like a good thing that my HR was around 170 for 30 minutes going up Westridge. That means my legs were not tiring, but heart was going fast? I have no clue! But today was fast for me and nice that I did not let up. We went on some steep, rocky single tracks I have not ridden before and I found myself doing some walking. Preparing for this big endurance ride on a new bike, especially moving from a 26 inch to 29 inch bike. My confidence on my downhill needs some help!

Saturday, I am heading to CC with my knee and elbow pads, and see if the "boys" can get up and down some technical areas without injuries! What a great way to spend my New Year's Eve with friends who are taking the time to drive all the way to Orange County to help me with this practice session!

Not to mention, considering in 2011 I broke my foot and got seven stitches in my left knee, followed by slamming it in the car door, and, oh, yeah, the doctors who said I was going to die, also said I would NEVER mountain bike after the femur break????

Today was in the high 70s and I was sooo HOT in long pants! I just love how riding a bike has changed my life so much, especially so late in my life! I told my coach that I like to remind myself that two bone marrow transplants gave me all NEW cells! That means I am probably 20 years younger than my age? Does that make sense?

Well, getting a truck at 7 a.m. to move stuff to my new place next door to Danielle and the kids! I am so excited to be able to live there part time and LOVE my family! Look out, Noah, your mother-in-law is almost moving in! lol -

I have even bigger dreams for 2012!!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

No ride today ;-(

My right-hand person at work was ill, so I had to stick close by in case of emergency.

Good thing she is not ill often! ;-) Seems I am very grumpy when  I cannot ride my bike?

Monday, December 26, 2011

December 26, 2011 - Monday - Easy (COLD) ride Sycamore Canyon

After a wonderful Christmas with my family yesterday, I headed over to a local hotel with my dog.  Something upset my stomach and I was up throwing up for hours last night- despite that and waking up freezing, I headed over to Sycamore Canyon to meet Doug and Thomas.  Thank gosh Lou had me down for an easy 1.5 hour, no climbing, recovery ride!  I knew I could handle that with no sleep, no water or breakfast! ;-)

It was so cold, the second time most recently I thought my fingers were falling off!!  32 degrees!
We saw, what appeared to be a flying deer cross the road.  We saw very few riders in the morning, but as it warmed up, we saw quite a few.  We road some fun single track and stopped a few times because my heart monitor was whacking out!  It was reading 203 while I was off the bike! arggg -- Doug also stopped to help some unprepared struggling guy with his sons fix a flat - This took a while!  Then I took some photos of a father with his son and his son's first mountain bike - Then Doug and I waited while Thomas took on the KOM! 
I kept reminding them, I cannot climb today! lol - I have to be sure and take it easy! ;-) It was so funny.
Good thing I am riding with friends who understand I have a coach and WE have an agenda! 
So the short ride was short, but the time out there was much longer than we planned for a slew of reasons.
But I felt great and went back to go shopping with Dani, Noah, Jess, Rhys, and River - Babies R Us and Best Buy!  Chinese take out - and hit the PCH to come home.  I am WIPED out from lack of sleep and driving!  But what a beautiful weekend. 
Need to get some sleep!
Good night friends....

Christmas present from Danielle - I love it

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve ride photos! paseo marimar

Christmas Eve - Paseo Miramar! by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Christmas Eve - Paseo Miramar! by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Today was a beautiful day in Santa Monica. I road out from home to PCH and headed for Sunset to begin my steep climb up Paseo Marimar. Steep it was. I started out feeling very strong and met Doug and Thomas at Parker Mesa bench. We moved on to the hub and battled the hikers down Eagle Rock. All in all, this was not the elevation I was striving for (5000K) but I am more tired and sore than the 6000K I climbed on 11-19-11. Today was steep ups and steep downs. Perfect training for CC!
So 31.5 miles, 4173 feet and four hours of riding, I came home and had a left over steak from last night, some boiled potatoes and a can of Bean with Bacon Campbells soup! lol - I have not had a CAN OF SOUP for over ten years, so I am tired! Too tired to go out.
Took a shower, walked the dog, stretch and in bed!

There were several times on the climb up that I was thinking of my mother and how much I miss her and tears were flowing. Christmas was her favorite time of year. Just not the same without her here anymore. I also was feeling so emotional, more than usual, for the mere gratitude of climbing a pedal at a time in the most beautiful mountains. We saw deer and plenty of people were out today.

Doug's son Thomas is here for the holidays and joined us. He is SUPER FAST!

The one dumb thing I did was ride my bike home via Third Street Promenade! On Christmas Eve?? What was I thinking?

I am very excited to get up early and head to spend Christmas morning with Danielle and her new family!

Merry Christmas to everybody and please say a prayer for my friend, Janet. She is in the hospital and I am sooo worried about her.

Peace and Miracles

Friday, December 23, 2011

12-22-11 Thursday & 12-23-11 Friday

Yesterday was too windy for us to ride where we planned.  Doug took me on the switch backs at Tapia and some rock rool at Malibu Creek!   That man has a lot of patience helping to teach me to ride some technical switch backs!   I road under six miles and climbed about only 900 feet, but it's amazing how sore I was using differently muscles trying to negotiate a difficutl and scary turn (for me anyway) - hiking my bike back up or down and practicing the same area over and over takes patience! - Eventually I did most of them.  A few are haunting me that I HAVE to go back and do!   It was an awesome day and I had a lot of fun.

Tonight (Friday) was 50 minutes on the stationary bike!  Tomorrow is supposed to be a really big ride for me and it is Christmas Eve, so I hope I can fit it all in one day!  Time to get some rest!

This time of year always reminds me of how much I miss my mother, how lucky I am to be alive and riding a bike.   I have so much to be grateful for. 

Merry Christmas everybody!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday - 45 minutes on stationary bike

Today was a rather long day driving to Oxnard and back.  Feel a bit of a cold coming on - but Zimcam always works!!! Going for a good night's rest and hope to make to ride with Amy and Doug tomorrow and practice some switch backs at Tapia and climb Bulldog!

And, I found a place next to my daughter's house, so I can visit more often and have more places to ride and train near Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Santa Barbara, etc!!

Tired-leg interval attemt by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Yesterday's ride (Tuesday) - very tired! Could not get my HR much over 163, so that means legs were too tired! Why?
Because I did not do the easier ride on Sunday I was supposed to do and allow enough recovery! ;-)
Keep on trying!!!

Tired-leg interval attemt by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cheryl & Doug at gate Saturday 12-17-11

Sunday ride (I am in trouble again)

Okay, so when will I learn to read the details??  I was supposed to do a recovery-type ride today, but did, what I thought was a fun ride, but, too many miles and too much sustained climbing!
I road at Sycamore Canyon, the beach side.  It was a beautiful day.  Road up backbone, which I have not done in years, down Quadelasco (sp), Wood Canyon, Sage -- overall it was around 22 miles 2500 feet of climbing - I was prepared today with warm gloves and layers!

Tomorrow is a rest day.   I must be the ultimate challenge for Couch Lou!  She spends a lot of time working with my crazy court reporting calendar and it's constant changing, then I don't read the her G-calendar thoroughly, and don't rest like I am supposed to ;-(  - Sorry,  Coach! I promise to pay more attention. And, of course, I am asking her to work a miracle to get me ready for such an endurance race!

Counting Coup upper portion with Snow, ice, rain and cold wind!

Yesterday, 12-17-11, Doug and I drove out to Orange County, 405 to the 22, exit Chapman and go right to Silverado something.   We did not go left to go to Black Star, which we will do another time. We drove up and up to do what I am told is the second half of the Counting Coup.  It got cold very fast.  I have never ridden anywhere in those mountains, so it was all new.  A river and beautiful trees and signs of winter looming.  As we climbed up for 3.2 miles up pavement, we reached dirt! Yeah!

So we climbed and climbed and the wind was picking up and it was getting cold, mind you that my light wind breaker I was wearing will fit in my pant pocket!  Some unexpected storm was coming in.  Suddenly we were riding in snow and ice!  We went on after a place called four corners and kept on climbing.  The last portion of the climb was a switchback and was very open and we figured the winds could be 50 miles an hour and very cold, so we turned around.  It was starting to rain and later we heard riders turned back due to hail.  I only road for about 3.5  hours and climbed about 3500 feet, but it was steep and nice to get a taste of what it will be like in April. 
I really look forward to going back and trying all the parts of the 44 miles, uphill and the technical downhill terrain!
I am so grateful to my friend and training partner, Doug, for showing me the trails!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

12-15-11 Thursday COLD mountain bike ride (very tired today)

This morning I had three scrambled eggs and ham for breakfast and one flour tortilla!  Must not have been enough.  Yesterday got away from me, and today I got to see just how important it is to eat right while training for a race!  I felt sluggish right off the bat, and then felt I got slower as I tried to push myself .  I was getting frustrated and then Doug and Amy both really started encouraging me.  I just want to be faster NOW!  Patience is not in my dictionary, apparently.  Started off my day crying while driving to the ride, but these emotions were tears of happiness and just not believing how blessed I am.  I met a new friend today, Amy.  She is great! She is a very experienced rider and one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life.  She stayed behind me on a climb, giving me encouraging words to get me to the top and  it was my fastest time ever up that hill to the Hub!  Then I fell into a bush and she came running down to see if I was okay - I was fine, just stuck in the bush! lol
Doug and I are both breaking in new bikes - Today was my second ride on the sworks, so there are just some fit and weight issues I am hoping to take care of tomorrow!. 
It was also really cold, for Santa Monica! 

Driving home from my ride I was thinking a lot about cancer and how many people it hits!  Cancer took a lot more from me than my hair and breasts and causing my bones to break --- it took so many years of my life away from me while I was fighting!  Fighting for insurance! Fighting for my life!  
Well, cancer, you LOST!  And today I am the winner, no matter what, I am a winner.  I bet cancer never thought I would be trying to start a racing career in my fifties? ??  So I am so grateful that whatever life I have left, I plan to make the MOST of it!   In the end, I am saying GOOD BYE to cancer and HELLO to LIFE !!!

And big thanks to my daughter, Dani, and my family, friends, Lou, Marwan, Doug, new Strava friends, Lydia ( couldn't even be outdoors without here) -- Every day I give thanks for all your kind words and for believing in me enough to help me believe in me.

I am so tired that I am going to be at 8:00!  Looking forward to my ride on Saturday and feeling strong!
After I eat a lot of prime rib and potatoes!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

stationary ride 1:45 HARD

Okay, so all I can say about my training today (since it was too wet to go out) is that I used to tell my friends "I don't sweat."  My shins sweat!  So when I am riding in the dirt, my shins are dirty! So crazy.
But even in hot heat, I am not a "sweater" -- or so I thought!!  It is amazing what a workout you can get on a trainer.   Sorry, I wish I could disclose more details, but I may have my competition lurking on my site...
;-)  can't give away trade secrets! -- I lost another pound, which means I lost six pounds in about a month by riding a bike.  I am eating healthy, for the most part, but today I cheated and got Taco Bell ! oops - don't tell Lou!

The Jones Fracture I got last June 19th is still causing me some trouble and I am going to have it looked at, again!  I think it has been x-rayed about 20 times and always the same "no  healing" --- Not sure if it is Zometa (for MM) or what?

I am really loving being on - it's so much fun having friends competing and supporting each other online.  I need to find some more time at the gym for core work.  I was just telling my dog that I have never had such a great life, as I have today!  Great friends and family!  Support! Love! Health!
As the saying goes "happy, joyous and free" ---
Thank you, God, for my life and all the people in it!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hub and Eagle Rock on a chilly Sunday!

First ride on S works! by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

First ride on S works! by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

What a day! Not the ride I planned on doing, but it was great and quality. I got two QOMs on Strava at least. Doug and I both noticed that my heart rate is much lower than a few weeks ago, while still giving it all I have! And my HR recovery is much faster. Today was a cold day and my first ride on my new S-Works, so the tires were different and not really fitted to the bike yet. I was very tired given the long day I had yesterday with office paint and carpet and driving way down south to get the bike. Tired is not the word!!! But i still climbed some good elevation today and put in 21 plus miles. You can click on the blue link and hover over the details and see the HR at all points. Garmin is very cool!!!! This is also how my coach tracks what I do and there is not cheating!!!!!

I also elected to try the seat dropper and see how I like it, thought it adds one pound to the bike! I have lost five pounds in a month just by training and not even trying to lose weight, just burning the calories, I guess. I also went to Bike Effect today in Santa Monica for a professional bike fit by Steve (which I recommend to everyone) You can really prevent injuries and be at your maximum performance with the right fit on your bike, road or mountain!

He spent close to two hours helping me with special inserts for my bike shoes to try and ease some of the pressure off my Jones Fracture. This foot really hurts at night and I am concerned. We know the x-ray shows it is not healing, but if the pain gets worse and the break is not only "not healing" but getting worse, they have have to do surgery? I hope not because I don't want to stop training now.

I was told about a website called purelycustom and ordered some custom stem caps for me and my coach! Mine is going to say "Easier Than Cancer" and Lou's will be La Ruta Lou!
Any time I start to think climbing any mountain is tough, I can remind myself that anything and everything in my life today is "EASIER THAN CANCER" -----

I have assigned a road bike to my buddy Marwan and told him he better start clocking some hours on his trainer!!! I can drive a hard bargain! Dani, Noah and babies came by tonight and it was quick, but beautiful! They make a loving family. Dani is the mother I never had time or health to be when she was young!
So I was a little short of what I wanted to ride today, but Lou always reminds me that we all do the best we can and that's all we can do. Sometimes life things get in the way! ;-) --
It's going to rain tomorrow, so I am working all day and looking forward to it!

I am off to stretch and sleep!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

1995 photo - multiple myeloma diagnosis

August 1995 the before and after when I was told I had six months to live and on to bone marrow transplant at Hoag Hosp - Been a long and bumpy road, but I am clearly blessed and lucky to be alive, let alone pedaling a mountain bike! 

Today at the hub

Hard Intervals! by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Hard Intervals! by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

I met Doug at the trailhead around 10:00 a.m. and road up
Westridge - then down Westridge and then back up - where Doug helped cheer me on and time me on the uphill intervals! Two minutes as fast as I could go, then rest two minutes, and four times!
My heart rate was around 180 at times, so I knew I was working as hard as I could, but sure felt like I was going no where, riding uphill fast is just not easy!
I ran into a few friends I have not seen in a long time, Liz and Colette, both riding solo - but Doug and I stopped and visited a while. Then we continued on to the hub.
I was three seconds from queeen of the mountain on one of the segments! It was sunny and beautiful!

So grateful for everything in my life today! After the ride I was off to the office to pack boxes for work being done in the office this weekend. Finally home about 8:30.
If you click on the link above, you can see the stats. But it was about 3 hours of riding and 3500 feet of climbing, with intervals, an over-all "gave it my best" ride!

Going to visit Danielle, River and Rhys tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!! and really looking forward to see what Doug comes up with for our long Saturday ride!

Good night, friends.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Having the best coach makes a huge difference in your goal/game!

Today was  my "off" training day, but I did have an all-day deposition with one of my favorite clients!  It was  a great day, and I am one of the lucky people who really loves her job.  Court reporting has been very good to me!

Tomorrow I am going to try the intervals again (without throwing up) and get my three hours in.  I have to say to anybody out there thinking about getting a coach -- it is the best thing that has happened to me.  I have mentioned before that I found Louise Kobin by researching about a Jones Fracture (which we all know I sill have) - Lou broke her foot one year too and had a Jones Fracture, and on her blog I read about how devastated she was that she might not be able to ride La Ruta in Costa Rica that year.  But her amazing attitude and how she handled the whole situation inspired me.  When I emailed her and she agreed to coach me ( I must add at a very minimal cost)  not nearly as much as I thought having a coach would cost.  She gives me my training calendar weekly and touches base every day with me.  It's super easy having the Garmin 800, so I upload my rides for her and she can see everything!!
My HR on the ride, the elevation, the distance, miles, of course, hours of moving and not moving! 
Trust me, I am not out there wasting time anymore! ;-)  She has given me so many good tips from fueling while riding, recovery, the intervals, not carrying the kitchen sink in my camel bak, etc.   She really cares about you, as the client/friend - 
Being accountable to somebody really helps you stick to your goals! 

Marwan might even pipe in here and comment about how surprised he was last Sunday!  He has ridden with me for years, through it all!  He has watched me fall and get back up over and over, literally and figuratively.
Sunday on our ride he said, "I have never seen you like this, never seen you this fast -- keep doing what she says, she is great for you" !!!!!!!!!!!!   That brought a smile on my face.  My family and friends all know that I think of Marwan as a best friend and a brother - so that comment meant the world to me!!!
Doug, my riding partner, friend has said he has really seen a change to in my riding and how much stronger I am.  This is all due to listening to Lou and doing, and only doing what she says (trying - I only got in trouble once)

So, thanks to God, the Universe, whatever you believe in -- but I would not be doing this without the help of my coach, La Ruta Lou!! - I hope to get up to meet her in person after Christmas and actually do a little ride with her for fun! 

Oh, I am a lucky woman.  Thank you to all my new friends supporting too in this training process, Lydia for busting her butt at the office and Rachel and Petra!   My lovely daughter, Dani, who understands how much this means to me and forgives me for not giving the time to her and the kids I would like to right now.

My sister, Debbie, who I hope will be coming down from Seattle to see me at the finish line! Oh, gosh, getting carried away!  I still have months of training. 

Lou even suggested in the beginning that, if i can, to sleep in a little more and get more rest while training so hard, and I am doing just that!  So good night.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Training ride by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Training ride by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

My morning started off great, until I took a prescription Motrin and two calcium pills! By the time I drove up the hill, my stomach was in knots and getting worse. I started early and did not wait for Doug and even though I was throwing up while pedaling up the mountain (freezing) I still mangaged to beat my own personal record time on that climb. Doug and I continued on and I could not stop throwing up bile, so I knew I could not make three hours with 18 minutes of intervals. The good news is that I am pretty sure it was what I ate or took and not a flu, so I gave it all I had to get in nearly 2500 feet of climbing, 17 miles and two hours of ride time. So I am not complaining. My coach says I can do the intervals on Thursday.

Doug got a rear flat tire and at least I watched him change it. I have been fortunate to have never had a flat on my bike, so it scares me that I surely would not be fast at changing one in a race.
Lou gave me the great of idea of practicing patching and changing the tires, front and back before the race.

So I am off to sleep early hoping my stomach is better by morning because I have an all-day deposition.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday - core-gym and spin bike

Today it was not easy as I hit the snooze alarm three times before getting up to meet Mikey at the gym at 6:30 a.m. - I drop my dog at the office and Mikey is always early and waiting for me.  Very nice that the Spectrum is on the same floor as my office.  He gave me a good hour of abs, arms and back.  But it's working!  Then back to the office (walking 100 feet) ;-) - Where I actually worked for a while.  My day was running errands and taking care of business.
My 45 min spin bike was later this evening and I am happy and tired!
Tomorrow is a big day with three hours of riding and uphill intervals!  Please don't let there be strong head winds again!
I ordered a custom headtube cap in red and engraved to say "easier than cancer"  - so I can look down and see it when I think i am struggling up a tough climb and remind myself, anything is easier than cancer and I am blessed.  Met several new very nice women mountain bikers on Strava and they are a lot of support.
I simply have the best people loving me through this challenge! 
Love you all!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday just-for-fun by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Sunday just-for-fun by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details
Today was a great day! Marwan and I have not ridden together in so long, we both cannot remember.
We road up westridge and down Sullivan Canyon. Never a dull moment with Marwan, as he was flying down the canyon, his chain came off and nearly ate it.
He did get beaten up by the bike as the seat nailed him in the back and the frame slapped his leg!

It was great to catch up and I gave him some "skinny" tires for his bike so he can be riding the CC trail with me! ;-) There were way too many people and dogs out today, so it's a day you have to go slow and be careful.

Today was a recovery 'fun' ride, as Lou put it. Marwan said he really noticed the difference in my fitness and riding ability (thank you, Lou and Doug) -- Lou gives me instructions and Doug makes sure I do and no more or less!

Petra worked in the office today and everybody is really putting in time and effort to help me through this training --- I could not be more grateful or happy! How in the world I found the world's best coach by googling "Jones Fracture- mountain biker" is a mystery! But I sure won the lotto with her.
Time to eat and rest. Tomorrow morning 6:30 a.m. is my core day and a stationary spin in the afternoon. Next week will be a harder week! I cannot wait.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sycamore - with intensity by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Sycamore - with intensity by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Today was a great ride, even with wind and chill!

Climbed Overlook as fast as I could (super head wind) and then did my first time trial from the valley side to Beach side and took queen of the mountain and 9th overall with men and women! Down Hell Hill!
Then off to visit Dani and Noah and kids - I am very blessed and been given many gifts of in my many chances at life. Thank you, God!
Doug is a hard act to follow, but I am lucky when I can follow his lines in the dirt!

It used to be that my emotional pain was so much it would not even fit in my head!!! My head was a scary place for me to hang out and my thinking got me in a lot of dark places. Today I am so happy I am in the Light, and though my mind still never slows down (as most of you know) - I try to slow down, but at times I feel like I lost so much of life that I am racing to get what I can out of life.

For today, I am simply very happy! And I want to do well at Counting Coup and Sea Otter? Is that asking too much? lol - I am willing to work for it!!!
Now I am off to listen to some experience, strength and hope!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Interval day! by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Interval day! by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

These intervals are not easy, but once you start them, they are nearly addicting as you try and get a few feet farther each effort!
I sure feel them the next day, which is why Lou usually has that day a rest day or recovery spin. I could not do this without Doug helping me out....he stays ahead of me so I have something to chase! He is quite a friend and cheerleader!

I still worry daily whether this race will be possible - I really try not to let my fears get the best of me and keep my trust in my coach to get me strong enough! And, as always, thanks to the people at my office working harder to allow me more time out of the office for riding! Thank you, Team!

Zuma to Backbone by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Zuma to Backbone by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Doug has me on some new fun training climbs! Beautiful views!

endurance ride 1 by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

endurance ride by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Endurance ride 2 by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Endurance ride 2 by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Endurance Ride 3 by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Endurance Ride 3 by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

ENDURANCE RIDE 4 (BEST EVER) by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

ENDURANCE RIDE 4 (BEST EVER) by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Zuma - crushing the climb

November 30th Wed - One hour on trainer

Then off to drive to Bakersfield for a two-day hearing.   Upon arriving there yesterday, at 4:45 p.m., I found out the job went off calendar.   I had wonderful steak and lobster dinner at Black Angus, baker potato, salad, soup, apple pie, ice cream! --

And drove back home this morning.   Need to ride off those calories this weekend!

Tomorrrow is a light reovery ride.  Lou is sure to remind me how important recovery is and to remember out agenda!  Counting Coup and Sea Otter!

This has, so far, been the most demanding and fun challenge of my life!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday - Interval day - 2.5 hours; 21.63 miles mountains

Today was something I sort of dread and then learn to love.  The climb up Westridge was more difficult with the headwinds, but I still set my all time record of 33:45 gate to gate!

Decided to do the intervals on Mulholland hoping it would not be so windy.   Four - 3-minute intervals with the last 30 seconds more steep was a true workout!  Lou tells me these will make me strong!
It turned out to be a beautiful ride and Doug and I went on.  I ended up with 2.5 hours and 21.6 miles and close to 2500 feet of climbing. 

I am really putting my training first and riding as much as I can and asking my support team at my business to cover me there!  Lydia, Petra, Rachel - thank you all for bearing the burden!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

3317 Feet of climbing up Zuma

Today was definate improvement from the same ride on Nov 5th.  I added Backbone single track and HR was lower and was faster!
I am told that this climb is the closest we have here to Counting Coup as far as starting off with a 2000 foot climb.

It was around 80 today and the views were epic!   Doug and his son Thomas and I road, with me in the back, of course.  But I sure gave it my all.  I am so happy that I have so many friends and family supporting in this adventure.

I am REALLY EXCITED to have Louise Kobin as my coach and friend.  She really inspires me and puts her heart in what she does.   She gives her all, so it makes it so much easier for me to it my ALL!

I have a little right shin pain and will look into that.  Also thinking I need a different saddle.  Lou also wants me to work on fueling while riding and keeping stops at minimum. 

What a great Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sycamore Canyon floor - Beautiful Day with deer, horses, and bunnies out with us!

1.5 hours on Sycamore Canyon floor.  Saw at least five deer and a lot of bunnies.  Beautiful sunny day in paradise.  I kept a nice pace and road out and two fox trail.  Coach Lou told me no sustained climbing today and get ready for climbing tomorrow.

Then back to Dani's house, packed up dog and stuff and headed home. 

I feel I am struggling with diet and knowing what to eat and when?  Going to bed hungry?  Is okay or bad?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks today

Dear Friends,
Today was the best!  I have spent the day with my loving daughter, son-in-law and two little angels!
We had great food.  The best part is that I never thought I would be a good mother, or be alive to be a bad mother - Today I know Dani knows how much we love each other and I know she and I value every minute we have together.  These are days and moments and memories I shall never forget!  She and her family are very supportive of my dream to ride CC in April!  And Sea Otter.
So I am on the couch with my dog and could not be happier.  Cancer may have taken many years from me and caused me a lot of pain.  But I am a warrior, I am a fighter - and Cancer lost in the end and did not take my life forever and did not take my love for life. 
So tomorrow I am set for two hours of mountain biking with no climbing, so off to Sycamore I go.
Please continue to support me, I have a long way to go.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rule 1 - obey coach! Rule 2 - Believe

So yesterday was supposed to be an interval day.  I met my friend Doug at the trail head at Westridge at 10:00.  I started pedaling and was very tired.  The gash on my leg where I received 7 stitches and the slammed the car door on it, is giving me big problems after riding! Swelling.  Pain.  Even urgent care last Friday.
So I HAD A BLAST YESTERDAY!  Having a coach and training is working!  I warmed up and was stronger than ever.  I felt like superwoman!  Pedaled three hours up and down Sullivan and westridge and the hub - my legs felt like power machines.   It was so fun.  I was in tears as I finished the ride strong and te memories of my days of endless chemotherapy and the doom and gloom of being told I was dying.  And I was dying in many ways. 

I guess that first 15 minutes to 30 minutes is when everybody wants to go home and say, "I am too tired" -
I find myself sleeping better, being more relaxed and smiling all the time.  I am having trouble with regretting the past! Why did I WASTE so mucy of my life on the wrong course?  I guess I was born on the wrong course of life, and I just kept runing from life, from feelings, from fear!   So today I face my fears and I keep my trust in my coach, Lou Kobin, that she won't let me down, if I listen to what she says to do.

So, I feel I am on restriction! ;-)))   gottat get to court reporting today!!
thanks for following me -

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I just love mountain biking and so happy to find something that gives me exercise, life outdoors, and my place with God and nature - and lots of fun!

Meeting new friends on and getting involved with clubs and climbing challenges.
Nice that my new goal is to ride more hours than I work!

Sunday - 11-20-11 - 60 minutes on stationary bike recovery

This morning I went to a 7:30 a.m. meeting and felt pretty tired from yesterday.  I made a big pot of hot chili and since it was raining, it was a nice day to recover.  The area on my leg where I got the stitches on October 1st is giving me trouble.  I get a very sharp shooting pain and nearly makes me dizzy.  Went to urgent care Friday night.   Not much they can do and I am not going to stop training.  I also feel the pressure on the Jones Fracture, but it is not pain I cannot deal with it.

I exhausted and hoping someone can help me figure out how to work this darn blog better!

Lou, my coach, told me I got 14 hours of riding last week and I think I got a lot of climbing, but too tired to add it up.
Thank you, again, Doug, for riding with me and keeping me motivated!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday -11-19-11 Endurance Ride 4 (my record ever on aMTB)

Well, having a coach is really paying off and a patient riding buddy!
Today I road all the way to Parker Mesa in the mountains for a total of:
43.1 miles; 6009 feet of climbing; 5.40 hours of riding time.
I never, ever thought I could pedal a mountain bike that far or climb that much, but I did.  What a miracle!

I took plenty of hammer gel and full bladder of water with nuun - one hammer bar and I try to eat a gel every hour and keep drinking.  It was fairly cold, which was nice for the long climbs.
Special thanks to Doug for waiting so patiently for me!!!

Friday - Up Westridge in my record time 37 minutes!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wed - 11-16-11 - Interval day!

WOW - Today was really painful and fun!  I road up Westridge fire road and found a good spot with my friend Doug.

I road up hill for three minutes AS FAST AS I COULD - Doug marked the place in the dirt.  I thought there is no way I can go further on a second interval, or even do one.  But I did.  And as my HR was going faster and faster, I went quite  bit farther. 
Okay, so I thought, that's enough.  I want to do a ride too and have fun.  Lou will understand. Two is enough. But, nope, cannot do that, Cheryl.  You have to adhere to what the coach says and trust her.
So I went back down and we had marked the second spot.  On the third interval, I was able to stay in my big ring and went farther in less time!  My HR was 185! This training really pays off.  Lou told me they would be HARD and PAINFUL! She is correct!  -
Then Doug and I went on up, did a little single track, up to Nike Tower, down Sullivan Canyon.  Was so much fun.  Then I had to climb all the way back up to my car.
SO it was about 13.22 miles; 1:50 riding time; 2037 feet - 

One thing I can see already is that after rides I am not so tired, like I used to be.  Work has been really slow this week, so I am trying not to worry and be grateful I have something I can do that is FREE!
Riding in our local mountains.

Tuesday November 15th 2011

Had a busy work schedule.  Even though I was tired, I said to myself, this is a commitment and I managed to do an hour on my spin bike, recovering from the Monday ride.

Felt so nice and I slept great!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Endurance ride 3

Well, I missed a few days because my daughter, Danielle, gave birth yesterday to Rhys - A perfect little boy and 8.9lbs and 21.5 inches long.  I am so grateful I was there to welcome him in the world.   Seems like yesterday we were told I was dying and would never see her start her own family.

So I had no ride on Saturday or Sunday.

Today was a great day and my legs are whipped!  I road from home basically the same route as the other two long rides to the hub:  30.9 miles; 3740 feet; 3:37 moving time;  1461 calories -
I pushed hard in my bigger ring most of the ride.   Was really having flying fun downhill!   Met my training buddy, Doug at the trail head - and he is an animal rider and climber - so I can see him going soooo slowly waiting for me... ;-) bless his heart - but he is patient and needs his recovery rides and he really helps me push myself.  I am not sure I could do this without him.  So, thank you, Doug!

So let me go see what my coach has for me the rest of this week.  For anybody stuggling to get off the couch, I swear, the beggining is the hardest part!!! Once you get started and see results and do something like start a blog or join Stava, it becomes so much fun!!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday - LA test HR 166ish

Okay - so I finally did my best on this Lactic test that I know nothing about!  I hope my coach is okay with it.
I really prefer to do in the dirt (because as Lou says, "it's more fun") - It has been a long week.  Dani should be having her baby any day now.  My first time in my life I have taken something this seriously and having fun with training and trying to eat right.
Wonder if I can catch my friend Doug?  Or Marwan?  - doubful! 
I would be happy with keeping up a bit with those guys!
Tomorrow supposed to rain, but hope I can do the long ride on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!
Lost 2 pounds!

Friday 11-11-11

6:30 a.m. gym -
at office
Going to hit the mountain!!!!!!!!!

Thursday - One hour spin bike

Thursday was a long day! -
Work; gym; meetings and driving on freeways!
cracked my iphone picking up dog poop and spent three hours the apple store!
Now setting up the new iphoneS!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday! One hour spin bike!

I am feeling tired and excited all at the same time.  I had a 5:00 doctor deposition tonight and thanks to my friend Chris (my videographer) for commenting on how nice my arms looked!Wow - and it's only been two weeks of working out. 

I am feeling pretty hungry and weary of eating too much.  But for me, burning an additional 500 plus calories every day is showing a difference! 
I am going to try and do the LA test in the morning, but sort of feel WIPED out - lol ...

So lucky  and so grateful!   Hopefully Rhys will be here soon, my poor daughter is very tired of being pregnant!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday Nov 8, 2011 - You get back what you put in!

Hi friends,
My day started about 4:30 a.m. - I was at the office at 6:00; training at gym with the best trainer, Mikey!
He can sure come up with some strange, but fun, ways of working core and arms! -
After that I drove right home and jumped on the spin bike for 45 minutes.  Then off to Land Rover to get  help putting in the baby car seat for River and off to Oxnard.   It was so fun to see Danielle and River.  We went to lunch and the doctor.   I could not  be more proud of my daughter!   She is such a great mother.
River is smart and always happy!   Showed her how to work the new double stroller I got them and it is cool!   This working out is feeling pretty good -

I feel my diet is a struggel because I am suddendly very confused about what is good and not good for us!
Lose the wheat, lose the weight?  what?  i thought wheat was good for us?  I had a 6:30 p.m. meeting and just got home. 

Need to find time to do my lactic acid test for Coach Lou - it will be hard, so I need a day! Rain is coming, so may be doing in-door training. 

Being new at all of this is a struggle at first! My house is a mess because I don't have time to fit in work and training ( not yet anyway) - but I will -

My next goal is losing ten pounds!

good night

Monday, November 7, 2011

Super tired this morning!

Well, first time I could not get up at 5:00 a.m.!  I was so tired.  Not sure if it was the climbing on Saturday, the 100 minutes on the stationary bike and no carbs?  You would think the hard part is just doing the work!
But really pacing yourself and balancing your diet, career, taking care of the dog, being a mother, grandmother, and being sure I get to meetings --- phew!  I have a lot to learn! 

So happy my coach is back in town and glad I am getting a good semi-early start at training.  Tonight I bought my daughter and Noah a double stroller and taking it to her tomorrow.   I am so grateful that I can help them out in some way.  I would rather be babysitting River, but I hvae to work and it's a long drive in traffic -- and, of course, the kids are very supportive of my training and biking and they will be there at the finish line for me in April.  I may have to get them a motor home! ;-) -

So today was a "rest day" I never sat down, but oh, well !

Sunday, November 6, 2011

La Ruta!

I am happy to report my coach on her way home from her four days of endurancing in La Ruta!
It was really exciting for me to follow such and event and know the top rider! 

Counting Coup is no La Ruta, to say the least, but I plan to give it all I got - And thankful to have La Ruta Lou as my coach!!!

Saturday ride - Zuma to Backbone - Sunday 100 minutes spin bike

Great ride and hard.  My first time doing this climb.  Total miles was 11.9 - with 3000 feet of elevation!
I was in my smallest gear most of the time, excepting coming down, of course!  Thank you, Doug for going with me and patiently waiting.   This is the exact type of training climb I need for my race.

So sad to hear that a road rider was killed when he crashed on Las Flores yesterday on a celebration ride.
My prayers are with his friends and family!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Core day with Mikey

6:30 a.m. at the gym sharp with my trainer.   Yesterday got a way from me and I got out on my bike late in the day.
If you live around Santa Monica, you the three b****** going up from Chalon to Westridge.  I road them twice and up Westridge dirt.  Not many miles, but some nice steep climbing.

I have two places that the stitches are sticking out of my cut?   Trying to get an xray for my Jones Fracture, since the last time I was there they said there was NO healing happening!  So what's up with that?

Tomorrow I am looking forward to riding a nice climbing ride with my buddy Doug who is training for Vision Quest ---

Just saw that my coach too 2nd in La Ruta today!  I am so lucky to know her!  She really gives me a lot of hope and very supportive.  I just know I would not be even training for Counting Coup, if not for Louise Kobin!!!!
Go Lou!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Stitches not doing well - survival to see the miracles!

Today is Wednesday and it is supposed to be my interval hill repeat training day (hard day) One of the stitches that is supposed to dissolve, has popped out.  But what can I do? Go to my doctor and tell him what I have been doing since that crash?  Riding 100 miles on my mt bike - and working out at the gym.
I am not letting a gash in my leg hold back my training.  I cannot afford to waste that time. Good thing I am older and dont' care about scaring!

I may try it this afternoon the intervals this afternoon.   I think the sit-up chair ab work put too much pressure on the cut in my leg  yesterday, as it was very painful yesterday, swollen and stitch out.  Goes to show that I should be lifting with my ab muscles, aka, muffin top, rather than my shins!
I feel sore in a good way today in the abdomen area, not too much, just enough to know that I did something.  I am surprised I feel I am working arms, but feel no soreness?
Never believed the doctors when they said there are actually muscles behind that belly of mine.

Off to take my expecting-a-baby any day daughter to the doctor this morning.   What an honorable day!
I must never forget that I was told I would never see her turn 16 and drive a car, graduate from high school, go off to college, etc -- the fact is she is 27 and having her second baby.  Every day I am breathing is a gift.  That I have survived long enough to see one grand baby is a miracle!

And thank you, Danielle, for supporting me in this ride in April   - because it is going to be taking the majority of my time to train.  Grandma hood may be a bit slacking - sorry -  My life has changed to being accepted to ride this ride, which may not seem like a lot to some - but certainly very scary for me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

6:30 a.m. with Mikey at the gym !

I spent my hour this morning with Mikey working on abs, arms and back.  6:30 a.m. - nice way to start the day.   Mikey has quite a job ahead of him preparing me for a tough ride, my first endurance race - and get rid of my muffin top!
I am happy my office is right here and I am here working since 7:30 a.m. ---

Sending positive thoughts to Coach L who is starting her four stages of La Ruta tomorrow!
I think it is something like 70 miles and 14000 feet of climbing - I cannot even imagine and darting frogs? jungles and volcanoes --go Lou!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Meantime, I will be spinning tonight and taking my daughter, who is expecting her baby any day, to doctor tomorrow!
Thank gosh my office manager is coming back too! 

Keeping my life in balance and fun is important and not always easy!  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

60 Minutes tonight - why some die and some play football and some ride bikes?

Tonight while watching 60 Minutes my attention was demanded when I heard the term Ewings Sarcoma!
A cancer that only affects about 400 people a year.  The segment was about Mark Herzlich the football player and how he was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma ( a very rare bone cancer) - different than the Multiple Myleoma I was diagnosed with (bone marrow cancer) - He had a titanium rod put in his leg and went through chemo and radition and it went into remission.  A miracle!  He is back playing football. I have a titanium rod in my left leg too.  Only it was not at my request, unfortunately.  Breaking a femur is very painful, trust me.

My dear, dear friend Alan Tilley was struck with Ewings Sarcoma when he was only 18.  I battled through my breast cancer and we fought together for his life!!   We were inseperable - unfortunately, he died six years later at 25.   He died in February of 1995.  I was just getting over the breast cancer portion of my life.  But Alan and I shared the same wonderful oncologist at that time, Dr. Neil Barth.  Dr. Barth loved Alan as much as I did.  Alan used to laugh saying things like, " you are just jealous because I won't be here to support you" - He knew he was dying.  He worked at Disneyland and wanted to be an actor.  I walked a redwood tree with him right before he died.  It was his request.   He was gay and acted like I was not supposed to know? I never knew why.   But it had nothing to do with his cancer.  I only mention it because Alan and I had a love relationship for which I have no words and never will.   Alan was more than a sibling and certainly not a lover, and we were as close as close can be!!!!!!!!!!!
 One time he said to me, " Cheryl, one day you and I will be two shining stars in the sky"  - Maybe he is my Star tonight bringing on this desire to share how much I miss him and how proud I am of how hard he fought! 

Three months after Alan died, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and told I had six months to live.  Alan was correct.  I was angry that he was gone already and he was not there to support me.  Only he was in spirit and still is.  The first century I road (with no training) the last 25 miles I asked Alan to give me a boost and I kicked ass that last stretch and passed everybody!  As I crossed that finish line, I fell to the grass and cried like a baby.   Alan and I and our cancers are on the same page in the Merck Dictionary and we will be holding hands forever.   I am not sure where he is, but I have a feeling he is that shining star, rooting for me to train and do this ride for life --- and when I finish Counting Coup, Alan - my dear, Alan, it will be for you and all our friends who are with you.  Oh, how I wish I understood why some of us live and some of die?

Why some of us get to play football and ride mountain bikes and some of us leave and move on to where we will all be some day.  

So GO GO Mark Herzlich - nobody will stop you from playing football!   And cancer won't stop me either.

I am happily recovering from my ride yesterday and totally exhausted!  I am forever grateful for my memories of my friends and everything I have been through has brought me here.
God bless you all!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Endurance Ride 2 - much improvement

Today I road the same ride I did last weekend, with a small tweak and ended up a mile further (31.41 miles; more elevation, 3681 feet - and shaved off nearly 20 minutes! My time was 3:41 with an elapsed time of 3:42.  12 minutes for food breaks - much better than last week of around 40 minutes.   It was a beautiful day and I had fun and felt strong and pushed harder than last week.  Getting  used to my new 29er bike on the downhill and off-camber turns, etc.  My max speed was 40.6 (flying down Westridge black top) lol

Lou, my coach is on her way to La Ruta for her four-day endurance race!  If I weren't so old, I would dream of doing what she is doing! But, for now, I am excited to report that training is fun and pays off when you listen to the pros!

Looking forward to the day I kick out 10,000 feet of climbing in a day!
Thank you to my friends and family for supporitng me.
I sure  never dreamed I would be crazy enough to do this -- but you all know I am crazy!

Tomorrow is a two - hour recovery ride.

Friday, October 28, 2011

First training with Mikey today

It was an early morning.  I was at my office at 6:00 a.m. and since the Spetrum is on the same floor as my office, it was an easy "get to" and meet Mikey at 6:45.  We worked on arms and core and he sure has a job ahead of him.  When I attempted the push-ups and pull-ups (which he makes look so easy) you should have seen the look on his face!  But, he promises that this morning will not be a repeat in down the road as I get stronger. 

Having had more surgeries than I can remember, starting with mastectomy one and two, and several reconstructive surgeries and implant types and sizes - oh, those nipples they tried to make (now that was a joke) - had to be off my  bike for a while with that surgery.  They also took my lympnodes and so for 23 years, my upper body has not been a strong suit, to say the least!

So here is to giving it all I have and with the help of Lou and Mikey - I think WE can do Counting Coup and finish on Aprli 7th, 2012!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Diet changes

Last weekend after my four-hour ride, I made the decision to turn to whole wheat pasta and rice, add more veggies, fruits and rest more - drink more water. 

And most of all I remember to thank God every day for my life and this chance to do something so important to me.  Possilby my only chance.  23 years of my life was about cancer and tests, doctors and treatment.   Today it is about health, love and the Challenge to Live my Dream!

Response from my coach on today's training -

GREAT!!  I think it looks good and it looks like you really got the HR up!!  It takes a little time finding the "perfect" hill, right length and grade, but REALLY the most important part is not a number, but that you are pushing hard and working your legs, heart, lungs and getting used to some pain :-)

Also, I seriously wouldn't worry about checking your HR while riding.  On these intervals, just push as hard as you can, and you can just look at the data after for info.  Using HR is good, but ultimately getting tuned in to your body is more important than what some HR monitor says.  I think listening to your body is more reliable, it's good for me to see the garmin info as it helps communicating to you what to do, but in the race, it will be all YOU, and learning when to push and when you might have to back down is VERY important!!!

Anyway, I think you did a fabulous job!!!!  

Do you think you would like to try the LA test next week?  Did you get the info I sent?  It is totally up to you!  You can try it, and if you don't feel comfortable that's fine.  It will be a great workout anyway, pushing very hard (time trial) for 30 minutes!!!

This saturday, would you be ok with doing the exact same ride as last weekend, or do you have plans to ride with friends.  If you do, that is totally fine, then I will have you do same ride NEXT weekend.  I would like to have you do the same ride, and try figuring out how you can shave time off.  Maybe riding SLIGHTLY faster, stopping slightly less, pushing one gear harder in certain spots.  This will help you figure out how to ride more efficient, save energy and still be faster without killing yourself.  You can do it this, or next weekend :=)

Awesome job on the intervals!!!

--- On Wed, 10/26/11, Quikfingers <> wrote:

From: Quikfingers <>
Subject: Fwd: Untitled by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details Same Ride second reading
To: "Louise Kobin" <>, "Marwan Korban" <>, "Cheryl Parrish" <>
Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 4:19 PM
this is the same ride as the earlier one i sent you. i just reset the garmin after playing with it.
so both of the emails i just sent are different but the same ride 
you may want to check my HR on this one - i think i did okay!
again, i tried my best

Begin forwarded message:

From: Cheryl Parrish <>
Date: October 26, 2011 4:18:32 PM PDT
To: Louise Kobin <>, Marwan Korban <>, Cheryl Parrish <>
Subject: Fwd: Untitled by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Lou - lol - well, i tried and i worked hard - 

Decided on road bike - fussed with the garmin setting up another bike and i have cadence on road bike -
my hill was not long enough and a little steep 
but once i went down the other side i saw i could come up the other way and it was not as steep so i was faster and then down the other side and back up for steeper 
you can see my HR flying around anyway!
once i was warmed up, i just did not want to stop - almost decided to ride to your house! lol --
but i know i need to not to do that - once i get on a roll, i want to keep on rolling. 

trying to watch for cars and my HR and time, etc was a little getting used to -but i am getting better in my one afternoon trying this -
i will find longer hill - but this hill Franklin up and down the other side is nice when i don't have as much time with work because it's close to home.
I may try Inglewood climb - just will ask Marwan how i can get there.
But bottom line you were right - those hill repeats kick your ass!!!!!!!

Today - hill repeats and intervals

Today was fun.  My coach, Lou had me to a 45 minute warm-up, followed by some hill repeats.
I worked it as hard as I could and it sure worked!! My legs are whipped right now.

It is very exciting, while behing challenging and keeping my goal in mind! 

Last Saturday I road four hours from home to the Hub with minimal stopping (for me)
This Saturday I am doing that same ride and see how much time I can shave off.
I have also decided to have Marwan's cousin Mikey help me with training on core and arms at the Spectrum gym.  It is a few feet from my office, so very handy!

Also considering putting a stationary type bike in my office!
Thanks, Lou and to all my friends and family for supporting me in the very early stages of this big goal!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Offically training

My leg has healed very well.  I am so grateful to the amazing doctor in the ER.

Now, I just need to keep my training very focused and still have fun and balance with running my business!

Thanks, Lou for your help!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

First Counting Coup experience!

 From: Cheryl M. Parrish []
Sent: Sunday, October 02, 2011 8:12 PM
Cc: Lou Kobin
Subject: Please will somebody give this five minutes to read?
Importance: High

My name is Cheryl.  I know it’s a long shot, and I don’t mean to waste anybody’s time and you may get a lot of letters.  But please, if you would, at least read this letter, for me, please.

My birthday is April 7, 1958.  Yes, I will be 54 on The Counting Coup race day.  I started my love for mountain biking very late in my life:  mid-forties, after a long battle for my life.  Mountain biking, in my opinion, saved my life and opened my life.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989 when I was 30 and lost both breasts, followed by six months of aggressive chemotherapy.  Seven years later, at 37, I was in for a regular check-up, and the lab tests came up showing elevated protein.  They thought it was an error, but after a bone marrow biopsy, I was told that 98 percent of my plasma cells were cancerous and that I had approximately six months to live, to get my affairs in order, that I had a rare bone-marrow cancer called MULTIPLE MYELOMA.   I was hospitalized the next day, and, ultimately, I lost everything.  From 1995 to 1998, I was on high-dose chemotherapy, followed by TWO bone marrow transplants which were back to back.   My life was over, certainly as I knew it.  I had worked hard for six years to finish court reporting school and graduated and started my own company while being a single mother of one beautiful daughter, Danielle.   My little girl was only five the first time my hair fell out.  All she (we) knew was her mommy was going to die.  Since that time, I have lost way too many close friends to some form of cancer.  I had no medical insurance and I fought and struggled for everything I could get for help.  Several doctors in Newport Beach teamed together and treated me for free, even getting the chemo donated to me by the drug companies for the breast cancer.   There was Dr. Burns, Dr. Barth, Dr. Long, Dr. Heinrichs –- all of whom took care of me on their own dime.  Dr. Vandermolen was amazing! They saved my life.  I worked with a friend, Dani, also a young breast cancer survivor, in starting a cancer support called The Walking Fish Society for young adults with cancer, ages 18 to 40.   Why? Because people think fish don’t walk and they think we don’t live. 

No doctor is sure why I am alive today, nor am I.   My oncologist says I am in the 3% survivorship of my diagnosis.  The other 97% died.  I had five years of interferon three times a week, and 13 years of monthly IV Zometa which doctors are now discovering can cause spontaneous femur fractures (and it did).

After ordering my new Turner Flux for Sea Otter 2009, my left leg started hurting right at the femur.  Several doctors and many tests later, they just could not find out what was wrong.  After a an MRI they said the multiple myeloma was back.  Surgery was ordered, but right before, like 45 minutes, the radiologist came in and said they changed their mind!!! It was a mistake?!   They said I may have a stress fracture caused by some trauma and there was nothing they could do. (I know the trauma was from a mountain bike crash) -- Zometa is a drug that won’t allow your bones to heal after trauma.  I have been off that drug since March of 2009.  However --- 

In June of 2009, I was visiting a friend out of town in Seal Beach.  Someone knocked at the door.  I answered the door, and my dog ran out around the guy.  This man at the door was really intoxicated and would not move out of my way.  As I stepped “around” him, I felt something strange, and my body just froze in the doorway.  Then I could hear it.  I said, “Oh my God, I think my leg is breaking” 
And it did.  My femur snapped in half.  Screaming for him to call 911 and get my dog.  15 hours in the ER at Hoag Hospital and several months of recovery, nursing home, and painful therapy, and the titanium rod on my leg, I got back on my bike!  The doctors said I would never mountain bike again!  I ‘may be’ able to road or bike path??

A friend of mine, Colette, said she was going to ride Vision Quest in my honor when the doctors said the cancer had returned.  She is one of my true heroes!

Today, my goal and dream is to ride and finish Counting Coup on my birthday on April 7, 2012.  I had my plan to be right on the keyboard at 8:00 last night to register for the ride.   Only yesterday, while riding my new Epic 29er down backbone, I had a spill – big gash in my leg that I knew would require stitches.   By the time I got down the mountain, about 8 miles, and waited hours in the ER to get stitches in my leg, I was home after 8:00 p.m.   I missed the registration.  

I am begging you, if there is any way you might make an exception?  I had already contacted a coach to train me, and more than anything, I would like the opportunity to do something I never dreamed I would be able to do and that is Counting Coup -- not just for me, but for so many others with terminal cancer, who have lived, or not lived.  My website bio has more of my life and mountain biking and how much it means to me.   I can provide you the paperwork St. John’s Hospital showing that’s where I was, and why I missed registration.  And if you cannot make exceptions, I understand.  There is always the next year.  But in case you cannot tell, I don’t give up easily, so I thought this was worth a try. 
Thank you for your time.

Cheryl M. Parrish, CA, WA, ID CSR
The Water Garden - 2425 Olympic Blvd. Suite 155E | Santa Monica, CA 90404
P: 310.315.3000 | F: 310.315.3067
Proud Member – Women’s Business Enterprise National Council

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Backbone crash October 1, 2011

My stitches, I hope, will come out on Friday.  I am so excited about having Louise Kobin as my coach for my race next April 7 (my birthday) - Counting Coup 2012, here we come.

I will be posting more about the story of how I came to want to race Counting Coup and how I found Lou Kobin while googleing Jones Fractures! -I am one lucky mountain biker!

New Epic 29er

Another great day riding with my buddy, Derek -- My new bike is a climbing machine.  We went to the hub and back for a quick training ride.