Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day 2017

This is the worst day of every year for me. Father's Day! I really don't know my "dad" - He abandoned my mother and four kids when I was very young. He was a mean alcoholic and nothing good I can say about him. I don't know what it would be like to have a father that loves you and supports you. No clue. He was mean and scary and disappeared for years at a time.

I remember, like it was yesterday, when I was in Hoag Hospital for my first bone marrow transplant in 1996 and thinking..."he cannot get sober and get here from Tennessee to see his dying daughter" - I knew deep down that I was unloved by this man. That he was not capable of loving anybody unless he ever got sober. That never happened.

Last night I saw the amazing film Blood Road with Rebecca Reba Rusch and her journey to find her father who was shot down in the Vietnam war. Beautiful film. All day all I could think about was how she grew up without a father who died for our Country and a hero. She was only three when it happened. So I spent today thinking of all the wonderful fathers I do know, including Capt. Rusch.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

2017 Dirty Kanza - 100

Danielle and I headed to Kansas last weekend for an amazing race.  The race took pace in Emporia, Kansas.  My goal for the 100 was 10 hours.  This is a gravel grinder race, so I took my Crux cross bike.  I have never ridden 100 miles on my bike, except for the road bike (14 pounds) on pavement.

The views were amazing.  The people along the way with cow bells and signs was nothing short of making me cry every time I saw those kids!

I went out fast for me.  I realized at the 50 checkpoint I was 3:40, so I called Dani to tell her I might be at the finish sooner.  

My ride time was 8:07 and elapsed time was 8:38. I refilled my three gallons of water!  I stopped twice for potty stop!  I climbed every climb where others were walking.  The guys really don't like that.

Rebecca Rusch came running up with a big hug at the finish. Jim Cummings, the founder of the Dirty Kanza 200 also put me in touch with a camera crew. Dani and I were interviewed and told we will be on CBS sports channel in July.

Travel was tough on Danielle, as she cannot eat much. She was my inspiration to finish!  Thank you, Danielle.  Next I am flying to MN to train for seven long days with my Leadville partner, Angie Rake.
Then we will be racing the Leadville 3-day Stage race end of July, and Leadville is August 12. I am really hoping Dani can be at Leadville.

Last weekend changed my life. I am happy. I am relaxed. It was amazing.  Sort of feel like stress is not an option, like taking a drink.