Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Endurance ride Parker Mesa

Best endurance ride to date: 40 miles; 6000 elevation gain by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Best endurance ride to date: 40 miles; 6000 elevation gain by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Sunday ride: Thank you, Zpak and Dr. Spector. After being sick for a week, I started the antibiotic Friday.

This morning I met Doug at Westridge and Bayliss at 10:00. We headed up Sullivan Canyon, where I saw Tom and a buddy finishing their ride early. The ride up Sullivan Canyon was nice and easier than every before for me. How nice it is to say that! We went on to the hub, Parker Mesa. When I saw Doug turning to parker mesa, I commented, we are here already? However it was hot and I was tiring faster than I wanted. I knew I needed to ride for 5.5 hours and about 3:40 or so my legs were tired and I was thirsty! We both ran out of water. I thought this ride is over....until Doug told me we can water at the bottom of Reseda Fire road, so we did. Nice cold fresh water!! Just what I needed. We cam down this very fun, cool little single track, but had to go back up via this steep fire road!
I was not sure I could make that climb, but I did. And after some fresh water, I got a second wind. We went down Sullivan fire road, turned and came back up. Some extra Mulholand road too. Then I sprinted back as fast as I could. Then flying down sullivan canyon -so much fun!
We got to the bottom near the cars and I need some more time and feet - so we went left up Queens Ferry and up the wall and headed back up the dirt!
This was climbing the wall after riding 37 miles. Can I say how happy I am? Funny how things can change in a long ride, just when you think you are spent, you have a lot more time left in you! So don't quit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am tired and have to work tomorrow - so need to sign off.

This was my best ride so far! and nine more weekends until CC -

Good night and God bless,

Test ride - Post week with flu - by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Test ride - Post week with flu - by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

saturday ride was post flu ride and home early to attend Juan's service. It was beautiful. We will all miss you, Juan, and never forget you!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

45 Minute Stationary bike ride - Nursing the cold

Today I saw Dr. Spector and he was pretty thrilled to see me.  He was certainly happy to see that I had lost 10lbs since mid November when he saw me last.  He commented that I am bionic woman! lol - He said the best medicine for me is get on my bike!  I have a virus.  What a gift.  I never thought I would see the day that I would leave the doctor's office without any prescription or an order to "take it easy"!  This is the same doctor who told me that the cancer had returned in March of 2009.

He asked if I still have ovaries and a uterus? lol- I said, yes, and he suggested we schedule a complete physical in May after Counting Coup and Sea Otter.  I laughed and commented that I have never had a physical.  They never check me for normal things like HC, or regular girlie visits!  They are too busy looking for cancer.   He said, "You are getting close to normal" - Today my life is not focused on success of material "things" - but m life is focused on my character and my the kindness I try to give to others. 

Grateful people are happy people, and those who aren't, aren't! 

Going on a ride test ride tomorrow and see how I feel. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Saying bye to Juan

Just about an hour or so ago, I found out that my dear friend, Maria, lost her brother and my friend, Juan, at age 51.  Last Saturday he suffered a heart attack while driving in West LA and hit a tree and died.  He was a fine example of a contagious smile and always had a kind word and a kind ear.  I will miss him dearly.

I spent the entire day in bed with the flu.  Watching the State of the Union.   So, this is not my normal ride-for-life post about a bike ride.   Though,  it  may seem sad, I needed to write about what I have learned from the death of friends and family.  How soon I forget that every moment is precious.   So easily said, I know, but as simple as, " be kind to each other" ---  I saw Juan a week ago Tuesday in a meeting, and from across the room, he smiled and I smiled back, and we gave each other the peace sign! That is my last memory of Juan, and one I will never forget and will treasure.   His sister, Maria, has saved my life over and over, and she has given me love, support, prayers and most importantly, Maria has shown me the tools for living.  Living my life, not really a day at a time, but often minutes at a time, and counting each breath in order to relax and find my personal gratitude deep in my soul. 

Learning of Juan's death today has made me sad and yet grateful.   I hope and pray if you are reading this post, that whoever you are, you take a minute and think of all you have in your life and, as Maria would say, "God is great.  God is always teaching me that it's not about me". 

So I want you all to know that I am more grateful than ever to be training with Louise Kobin for my ride for life at the Counting Coup on April 7th.  Juan was always making jokes about my bloody knees or bruises and he was really happy to see me training for this event!  We just don't know when something sudden may happen.   Thank you to all my heroes!  You know who you are!  Russell Moon, who is paralyzed from a biking accident and fighting for his life.  I saw a video today of his leg moving today!  Miracles do happen.  I hope to remind myself every day that "WORRY" is a waste of precious time.  I will try to not take life so seriously, and to remember that it is not about me.   It's really about being the best you can be as a human, whether a mother, sister, brother, friend, boss, or biking partner! 

My thoughts are just swarming with memories of Juan and his smile, it's really difficult.  I know he would want to be sure that we all  RIDE ON and keep taking that next right step.   What a mystery, life and death, to me anyway. 

Juan, I am going to make you proud on April 7th!  Wish you didn't have to leave us so soon.

Believe, please believe in yourself and be kind to others.  Remember that your smile and attitude can make a difference at any time of your day, and your gratitude and kindness just may change someone eles's day for the better.

Most people,  I hope, reading this know my story and of my fight with cancer twice.   I climb my mountain of hope on my bike and feel the power of life in my legs and the fresh air on my face and I think of how much I love my daughter and her babies, my sisters and brothers.  All the years of battling for my life with disease, most of my life this was my story, but I have been blessed to come out on the other side of those wars with each disease, every surgery, bone marrow transplant or chemo session, I have grown to be a stronger woman.  
Keep the rubber side down!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

3 hours 3300 feet - WR; Hub - Sully Canyon by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

3 hours 3300 feet - WR; Hub - Sully Canyon by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

I drove home from Oxnard this morning, dropped the dog off, grabbed a few eggs and my bike and headed up to Westridge. Life is in session, as we say, and I try to never forget how blessed I am and that all the seemingly bad things in my life, are quality problems, period!

We hit the trail and my shifting was not working and slipping - Chain was getting sucked in! This stopping and taking off wheel and adjusting and adjusting took us at least 30 minutes. But after a bit, my riding partner had it dialed in (well, it got me through today's ride) ;-) Nice having a bike mechanic for a riding partner - very handy, indeed. I thought he was going to pull out a tool box in his back pack - but he had the screwdriver! ;-)

It can be frustrating when you are tying to climb and your chain is slipping, so after I got over that, I felt better mentally, and it seems if my head is off, my legs are off - funny how that works in all walks of life?

We headed to the hub, Eagle Rock, down Sullivan Canyon and back up the wall to my car! All in all I felt great. I was able to stand up and really power on the pedals far farther than every before. The training is paying off - I may still be slower than a lot of people, but I am so much faster and stronger than I was a few months ago! Actually, I was never able to pedal uphill standing for much more than ten feet - I cannot believe how long I was able to pedal uphill standing today. Thanks, Lou and Doug!

After the ride, I am now feeling I may have caught a bug and feeling a cold -- right to the Zicam! I swear by that stuff and will let you know tomorrow? - Now I need a meeting and I cannot get out of bed.

I must admit, though I see so much improvement, I worry about Counting Coup. I have never tried an endurance race before. This is really my first "real" race, period.

Thank you so much to all of you who continue to support me in my dream!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Road ride on my mountain bike? yep! 32 miles

Well, we thought we would stay out of the mud today and try the bike path to Ojai - then the trail was closed and we took the coastal route.  It was so windy it was like climbing a wall!   Then the wind got scary and I was blowing over and worried about being blown into the highway.  As the wind grabbed me, I slowed down and Doug was behind me and the wind blew him right into me.  POW - we both went down.
Nobody hurt.  Phew scrapes and bruises.  Overall, it was the first time I done in long ride spinning, so I think my coach was happy to see me get in a good long easier ride, without so much climbing!  But I think I can fit that in tomorrow.

My morning started off with having the fun opportunity to take River (granddaughter) to playtime at the Y and swimming kids class.  Borrowed swim suite from the other grandma! ;-)  Thank you, Sandra!
So for my 32 mile bike ride, my head was singing "Old MacDonald had a farm....and the Itsy Bitsy spider  - been awhile since I sang nursery songs.   But we had fun.  Never got a chance to eat today, except a fee gu packets and cliff blocks -

I am getting nervous already about Counting Coup and it's not until April 7th!  Sure hope I can do it!
See you tomorrow!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

2 x 15 Intervals plus fun ride by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

2 x 15 Intervals plus fun ride by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Today was very exciting! I am so happy I broke my foot last June, or I would not have found Coach Lou! - The key seems to be find a coach you really connect with and trust and then, DO WHAT THEY SAY! - what a concept. Today was interval day again and my HR was so high for 15 minutes x 2 - you can click on the link above and see. After I maxed out twice back to back, Doug and I kept on climbing and climbing and climbing. It was a perfect day to get all I could get in, since we are expecting rain this Saturday. I could really feel my muscles kicking in and pushing me.
Was awesome! I love seeing the results of training with with Lou. And results I am getting! The sun was out and I nearly ran over a bunny, but they are still faster than I am! ;-)

So my ride time was about 3.20 and around 3000 feet of climbing, and 25 miles - Sleeping never felt better than it does these days! So if you have insomnia? Get on a mountain bike!

Looking forward to getting out my rain gear for Saturday! Thanks, again, to my riding partner for every ride of support and pushing me to my limits! -

God Bless and good night.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stationary bike last few days!

This week I am working, so looks like a lot of stationary bike training.  Boring!!
Next Saturday, rain or not, I am going to attack some single track at the counting coup course!

Wisdom is the perfect balance between intelligence and love!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Santiago Peak last Saturday!

Fun Ride! Two hours by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Fun Ride! Two hours by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

My schedule today only allowed me two hours, and my morning started off with work stress. So what to do? One thing is to remember I always feel better after a ride!
The old backup, just a good run up Westridge and down Sullivan canyon. We added a short fun single track by broken arrow. I love my new tires (captains) - I am so excited to go back now and ride the more technical downhill areas of the race!
I feel more confident not skidding out on race tires. I understand they weigh a bit more, (four ounces each) but hey, I want to be fast and safe and have FUN! So I am loving the seat dropper too. Today was the first fast ST downhill on Westridge single track I hit with full on fun and confidence, no hesitation! Climbing was consistent and strong. A few hills I climbed I could not help but say to Doug, hey, I remember when this was hard! Bring it on! My coach is the best. It's so cool to really see progress and all I have to do is what she says!... Sprint! Climb! Rest! Eat! Ride through the pain! HAVE FUN (Lou's must do) - I think my riding partner was proud of me too, even took his helmet off and bowed as I crested the top! ;-) sooo much fun (hard work too) - tough to put into words how hard work turns into fun - you have to get on a mountain bike to see what I mean!
I am climbing my mountain of hope!
Thank you, God, for another day! Many thanks to my coach, family, friends and fellow riders for all your support!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

CC climb to Santiago Peak by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

CC climb to Santiago Peak by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Had a late start this morning and forgot my socks! Doug gave me his an he used my arm warmers as socks - This was quite a site!
It was a rocky climb and rough, but I made it to the cold and beautiful Santiago peak!
Around 4200 feet of climbing and 24 miles - Was along and fun day!
Then raced back to LA for a much needed meeting - food with some friends!
I am so blessed and so happy!

Thank you, again, to my wonderful coach, Lou Kobin and my riding partner, Doug, for waiting for me on all those climbs!
Oh, and I was trying to move out of the way from a truck and had a small fall in the rocks, no big deal, I was more worried about my bike getting scratched. There were TONS of motorcycles and four-wheelers out there today, made i t a bit scary. I am not used to dodging motor vehicles in the DIRT!

I would really like to double my climbing speed out there for Counting Coup and get my average up !!! I am SO impatient, as most of you reading this post know!
So send me fast legs please!!! thank you!
Good night

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2 x 15 intervals - pushed hard by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

2 x 15 intervals - pushed hard by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Today was a great ride! Lots of fun swoopy switchbacks, some new single track I have never been on , which was very pretty!
Warm and sunny! - All was great until I got off my bike and had to deal with the real world! ;-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Intervals - three hours by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Intervals - three hours by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Great day for a mountain bike ride!
2:46 time
2769 feet
Avg HR: 152
24 miles

Five one-minute intervals! And I got QOM (queen of the mountain) on a segment on DH on westridge.
Legs were ON FIRE, I just kept reminding myself that I have to ride throught the pain and it will be over when I get to the top, or the end of the interval! lol
Forgot my socks, so shoes a bit slippery.
Tomorrow I am driving to Costa Mesa to get a professional fit on my bike!
My new Garmin (someone got me for Christmas) is the 500 and seems to cheat me out of a few feet and calories! lol -
But it's RED and I love it. My riding partner gave me a RED bell today too - So I have power tools to get me riding faster!

Here is to Counting Coup and kicking it!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Romero Photos - you don't have views like this every day

Romero Canyon by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Romero Canyon by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Romero was beyond words with the views. I have never ridden this ride. It started off very rocky and steep and I had a tough time getting started!
Once I was rolling, it was all uphill for seven miles, with rock loose fire road, and single track with big rocks, big, big rocks, lots of rocks - and smooth, hot sun and some shade. Doug and I both got burned on our faces -- with sunscreen! - We road for some miles up at the ridge for some cadence consistency pedaling - This ride is only 33 miles from new Oma home next to Dani.

We had a lot of fun. The downhill was, again, seven miles of fast, rocky and stay-on- your toes type descent. You can really get some speed, and the views to your right are SOOOOO tempting to glance at, but after my friend took a hard fall doing that, I was paying attention. My hands here hurting and I was getting really tired from the rocky downhill. It was so much fun and I really felt stronger.

Coach said I had 3.5 hours, and I forgot I had changed my Garmin to elapsed time from moving time for the stationary bike, so I was concerned I was riding too long! Argg -- turns out I had a half hour to use.
My ride was 3 hours, 21 miles and about 3300 feet or so.

Got a call to rush back to Santa Monica, and I did - have a depo this morning, so rushing out the door.

I am feeling stronger and my weight just fell off, as Lou said it would. I am very happy with my fitness right now, especially for my age. But riding with Doug (the mountain goat) - I still feel super slow behind him. He waits for me, of course, but I can tell he is riding backwards. Nice to have a riding partner for so many reasons. Makes it a lot more fun, but for safety too. Riders should ride in pairs, when they can.

I am hoping Marwan can start jumping in every other weekend, I miss riding with him too.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Encinal - intervals at Little Sycamore

intervals by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Today was around 18.5 miles, 2500 feet, 2.5 hours (details in the link) and a warm and beautiful day. My riding partner and I met a few friends in the morning for a few miles so I could pass on some bike clothes and say hi to Sue and Suzanne! I miss my friends because I cannot really ride with other people while training, unless they are training too.

We climbed up Encinal/ backbone trail and at the top, I told them I needed to do intervals, so Doug and I went on our way and he found a perfect spot uphill with some head winds! I realized later my tire pressure was really low, and pushing on black top top with soft mountain tires was hard. But I worked HARD and had a blast! - My legs are so sore. After my leg drills, we kept on climbing back to the dirt and another fun downhill down Encinal switchbacks! Lots of people out today!

There were some easy switchbacks on Encinal to help me practice using no front brake in those turns! Been a very long and physically demanding day, so I am so glad I am not working tomorrow!

The BEST PART OF THE MY DAY was a few minutes ago when Coach Lou told me that I did my ride PERFECT today - she said it's exactly the improvement she is looking for in my training!
This is great news, because it has not been easy to take direction. ;-) - Not just because I am stubborn, friends!! lol

Lou is really excellent at giving me my calendar in gmail and explains everything in detail. If I have any questions, she is always there to answer - saying that, thank goodness for Doug, he knows all the dirt and pavement in southern California, I think - finding the right places to right the right distance is not so easy for me.

I am excited about renting this place next to Dani and Noah and closer to Santa Barbara for some more rides!!!!!!!!!! Double winner - River, Rhys and MORE TRAILS!!!!!

I love my life and would not trade a thing today - thank you, God for doing for me what I could not do for myself!

Thank you, Lou for all the special attention you give me. I could not have dreamed for a better coach. I have improved SO MUCH since working with you and everybody notices! Lots of people say things to me about how I look and I know I am in the best shape of my life.

Lou will become a part of my life budget as long as I can pedal. I see a big future for me in mountain bike racing with her help! At least another 20 years?? lol

Love and night to all.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

The hub last Thursday - santa monica blue skies

Holy Jim - fun and friends (peak in the background is my goal)

New Year's Eve - Holy Jim up and down by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Holy Jim up and down by stenogrl at Garmin Connect - Details

Doug, Marwan and myself drove to Orange County to ride up what will be the end of Counting Coup called Lower Holy Jim - pretty techincal with hike-a-bike rocky stream crossings, switchbacks and rocks. Had a blast - I made quite a few of the switchbacks, stopping to practice them - I really need help with these and there are at leaast 12 of them. The more steep downhill ones, my body just seems to freeze and not turn the wheel!!!!

One tumble took me down and Doug off the cliff - nobody hurt, but happy I put on my knee pad due to that nasty cut on my leg still hurting. It was warm and beautiful and the company was AWESOME! I am pretty sore from the techincal climbing and stress of not killing myself on those turns! lol -- Thank you, Doug and Marwan for supporting me and coaching me through them.
I have a video of the crash I will post, as soon as I get it edited, pretty funny with the Go Pro -