Friday, November 11, 2005

Winter Riding

I got studded tires for my Cannondale, I also upgraded to disk brakes!!!!!! Got tons of $ into this, but what an awesome ride!!!!!! I know, I'm turning into a bike freak, but there are worse things to be!!! It makes me HAPPY!!!!! I also got some AWESOME cold weather riding clothing. Anyone who is into cold weather activities needs to check out www. Their stuff is EXCELLENT. Unbelievable lightweight, windproof, warm, stretchy for full range of motion. Great investment.

Winter is here, about of an inch of snow on the ground. Everything is frozen up, it's warm this week, in the 20's. Not much wind, which is nice.

I put my road bike up for the winter, I would like to get a fluid trainer to keep my butt in shape, anyone who rides knows about "butt time". :)

I'm going to ride the Cravass Moraine trails today, I went on the singletrack out of Kepler area last week, it was great!!! Steep hills left me breathless as I am still getting over a cold. Also had my balaclava on and couldn't get enough breath through it so I kept pulling it down off my face. Air got in, face got cold. I don't want my face to end up looking like a wrinkled peice of leather, so I'm trying to be careful about the cold. Yes, vanity...I know. But what's wrong with wanting to ride AND be cute at the same time???

I have formed an unoffical cycling club. MBC - M's Bicycle Club or could be MCC - M's Cycling Club - our motto is Mud, Snow and Speed. We do it all! HA! So far it consists of myself, a almost 40 years old lady and 3 -14 year old boys. We have the Bike Guy, the most awesome bike guy around, world record cyclist and all around good guy to maintain our bikes and the other parents are glad THEY don't have to take the boys out to ride.

I haven't run since my last 5K race and am starting to miss it. I need to get going on it again. I can tell my endurance has dropped, it's effecting my biking.

I recertly had an episode of shingles. Basically chicken pox a second time around. Talk about crazy pain. Might as well had acid dripping on my skin. Getting better now.

I got a few new CD's. Collective Soul is playing right now. Also got the Verve going.

Ok, signing off now. I just can't seem to make these short!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Random Thoughts

Why am I SOOO clutzy????

Why can't I get paid to play???

I wish I was taller, about 5'7 would be cool.

Why doesn't my son TURN IN HIS SCHOOLWORK????

What are we going to eat for dinner??

This is too hard right now, be back later

Saturday, September 24, 2005


I have survived the black streaks down the sides of my head, although it's STILL not the way it was. As Frenchy so profoundly stated in the reply, I am also a idoit when it comes to hairdressers. Why is it that I also don't just say "you did a crappy job"? Maybe because we are so helpless feeling when we are in the hairdressers chair; we can't move our arms because they are stuck under a cape which is strapped tightly around our necks, we look rather unattractive with goop in our hair that is covered with foil, and the hairdress is standing over us with very, very sharp, pointed sissors which could poke an eye out...we are totally at their mercy. They are HAIR NAZI's, in total control, because if you're like me, there's not much you can do with your hair and have to rely on the hairdresser not to look like Mortica...

I met up with the Bike Guy! He is soo awesome, he showed me how to fix a flat on a road tire and a mountain bike tire. He was asking how my road riding was going, I told him my wrists were hurting after about 5 miles. I had my bike with me so we brought it in and he determined there was an angle to the bar that turned my wrists out just a bit. He took of my bars, put on some new ones, also moved the grips inward so I will be FASTER. He also adjusted my seat. All of that and didn't charge me a penny! Went for a 10 mile ride on my lunch break a few days later; NO PAIN!! What a difference! He said he would also give me pointers on winter riding, there are places you can ride in the winter that you can't go in the summer because it's too wet. Bike Guy, You are awesome! I think I'm becoming a bike junkie...

My son and I went on a mountain bike ride today up to Hatcher's Pass again. We went on a different trail this time, it was a better one than Archangel trail. We road in about 5 mile, mostly on a uphill. The weather was looking pretty cloudy and stormy but it was perfect when we got there. Not sunny, but not pelting rain or windy. Just overcase with little spits of rain and hail now and then. There is snow up there now, but it was above us, so we were good. We went through mud, water, rocks, sand...gotta love being mud splattered. I fell 1 time, there are some wooden planks on the trail in some of the deeper wet parts. The planks are wet = slippery. My bike slid sideways, I ended up with my foot in the water and landed in mud and bushes. Not hurt really except where my seat horn hit my hip. Turned my seat a bit, but that's an easy fix, once I was able to extract myself from the bike and mud and vegatation. Then upward we went. We were riding alongside a small river, it was a beautiful sight. Snowy peaks, fall colored vegatation, river, eagle hanging on the breeze overhead. The ride up is such a workout, we had to stop just to catch our breath before going on. The ride down is such a rush, it makes the ride up worth it! I'm getting better at going over the rocks, been practicing on pulling up on the bars, but still staying in control. I think I am going to look into getting disk brakes, I have rim brakes and they grind and cause resistance when they get mucked up with mud and sand. My son has disk brakes and doesn't have that problem.
After we got back to the truck, we drove higher up the mountain to the snow. I let my son ride down while I followed him in the truck. We are talking DOWN when I say I let him ride down. There were some snowboarder type guys watching us and cheering my son on with "RIP IT, DUDE!" My son had to promise to stay in control and not go too fast.

So now I am tired, a good tired. Thank you God that I am able to ride!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Fall is Here

Been feeling pretty good lately. Joined the gym with some friends from work, we go work out on our lunch break. Finally getting in some upper body workouts. I'm also doing some leg work out, because it's part of the circut. Hopefully my legs won't turn into monster freak muscle legs. They are aready pretty buff from running. But I am working some leg muscles that running doesnt. These hip abductor machines are something: think OB/GYN exam position. Hmm, think I need longer workout shorts!!! HA! Sheesh. No pain, no gain, even if it's mental pain.
I never knew grey hair could cause some much pain. I had some grey coming in at the temples and last time I had my hair highlighted, asked it to be covered. Well, my hair stylist missed it so I went back and showed her. She said she'd fix it, boy did she ever. I came out with 2 BLACK strips down the sides of my head. What the frick is that??? My hair is light brown to blonde. My stylist insisted it was the same color as the rest of my hair but that section of my hair reacted differently because I had been under stress from being sick. Bullsh**!!! So I said it had be be fixed. Well, she CHARGED me again for the FIX. NOT HAPPY and I STILL have some black streaks in my HAIR!!!!!!!!! OMG!!! If your a woman, you know EXACTLY what I mean. If your a guy, don't even won't work. But we love you anyway - :)

Fall is here, rain daily, will soon turn to snow. Leaves are yellow, not much reds on the trees here in Alaska, reds in the bushes/brush though.

My son had a cross country meet the other day. He did fairly well, he's sore so he didn't run his fastest. On the way home, we were diverted around a car wreck; a semi truck went totally through a van, killing the woman driving the van. There was NOTHING left of the front of the van. I feel sooo bad for the woman's family. She was just driving home and then she's gone. Sigh... Prayers to the family.

The 1st local boy from my town was killed in Iraq this Sunday. It's a small town, everyone knows someone who knows someone. This guy was 22 yrs old and my husband know the stepdad, my neice and her boyfriend were best friends with the guy who was killed. I want this war to be over.

So much death lately around here. None personally with my, thank GOD. Still, it has an effect. Moral feels low here.

I will drink my wine and sing songs of sadness, which will turn to gladness once the sun shines again.

I will run and thank God I can, that it feels good just to feel normal.

We have 2 cows. 1 is pregnant, it will be cool when the calf is born, any day now!

The Bike guy says he will show me how to change a flat on my bike! I ride alone 99% of the time and want to be prepared for the inevitible. Maybe I will meet up with him this Sunday. He's a World Record marathon bike holder. He biked from Seattle to SanDiego or something like that. WOW! I wish I could do something great like that. I just want to be good at SOMETHING.

Ok, the wine is kicking in, I think I will have another!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

What a RIDE

Took my son and nephew mountain riding today at Hatcher's Pass, a mountain valley near our home. It was SOOO AWESOME!! We rode up Archangle trail, which soon became a stream due to mountain run-off. Mud, water, dirt...that's what mountain biking is all about. The scenary was amazing - fall colors, mountain streams everywhere, mountains, valleys, sunshine = awesome!! Mountain biking is alot harder than road riding, what work out. The ride in was mostly uphill. The ride down was a blast! Winter is on it's way here and today was one of those suprise sunny warm days stuck in the midst of rainy, foul weather. We had a great time and my nephew is now hooked, I think. He wants to go back tomorrow but the weather's supposed to be bad, we will see.

We went to our cabin in the wilderness over the long labor day weekend. We took extra day off work, hired a float plane (Beaver, the perfect bush plane) and flew in to the cabin. The land was soo wet, wettest I have seen there. The lake and streams were very high, the tundra was like a soggy, supersaturated sponge and many times the water would be over my rubber knee boots so I stayed closer to the cabin and didn't go hunting with the guys. It was windy and rainy most of the time. Only 1 day of hunting and no caribou seen. Did see lots of Bald eagles, which is always fun. We have an eagle nest close by and it's always wonderful to see the juvenile eagles learning to fly. We had to leave early because there was a break in the weather and the float plane pilot said he had to get us out then or the lake would be too rough to land on, so we packed up and shut up the cabins in record time. Wish we could have been there longer.

I also got my offical time from the Parade Day race:33min 24 seconds. 4 seconds slower than my fastest time!! I wish I would have known that, I could have pushed it 5 seconds faster, HA! I don't know why I always have the wrong time, probably because I never seem to know exactly where the finish line is and forget to hit the stop button on my watch. It was a nice suprise that I did better than I thought I did.

I finally got the results from my MRI, it was a struggle though because the dr's staff kept giving him my HOME phone number to call me during the day when I was at WORK. Anyway, the good news is the dr said he saw no changes in the mri films from the previous films!!! However, he didn't like where the existing spots were, in the area of the brain that deals with cognative thought. Not good, but no change is great, right??? The neurologist thinks maybe the dizziness was from an inner ear virus and he is not willing to give any reasons for the temp vision loss, which has not reoccured, thank you, GOD.
So I went home, still a bit dizzy and my ear hurting. The neurologist said my ear looked fine, no infection. So why did it still hurt weeks later?? I went to a medical walk-in clinic and was given antibiotics, nasocort and singulair. Never taken so much medicine in my life at once, I think. Anyway, the ear is feeling better and I wake up without a headache so the meds must be working even though I still feel like my nose is a little stuffed still. Still dizzy a bit, especially when I lay down. But I'm still biking....haven't run for about 1 1/2 weeks.

School has started, so far the 1st week my son has done well as far as I can tell!!!!

My daughter started college and seems to be doing well also.

So, at this moment, all is well with my world. However, my prayers are with the Katrina victims.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Last 5K of the Season, GOOD Run

My husband, neice and I ran the State Fair Parade Day 5K race yesterday. Fall is on it's way here, it was 37 degrees outside when I woke up to prepare for the race...bbbrrrr. The was starting to peak over the mountains so the day warmed up by race time but it was still a bit cool in the shadows, which is nice when I get hot from running.
We got to the race and we suprised to see our 21 yr old niece, she decided to run it at the last minute, it was her 1st race. She was glad we were there. The race started and I was at the back of the pack as usual, so I won't be in anyone's way and get ran over -yeah, really. The front runners were soon out of sight and I was plodding along. The 1st mile I always feel like, ugh, this is hard, I don't know if I can make it, then I get into the goove and settle into a pace. There was a lady in front of me in a pink shirt, I was hoping to pass her but she started picking up the pace the pace at the end, which caused me to pick up mine also, but I just didn't have enough giddyup to pass her. My time was 34:10 (unoffical), my husband got 2nd in his age group, 20:50 and my niece got 2nd in her age group also (24:somthing). It would be a miracle if I ever placed in any race, that would be soo cool. I am happy with my time, it's an improvement over the Humpy's run of 36:14.
So today I'm tired. I'm trying not to overdo it, I was a bit disoriented this morning when I woke up, I hate that. Since this was the last run of the summer, I plan on getting more time in on my bike until the snow comes. I also want to keep up the running this winter,its harder to be motivated in the winter with no races to work for and being stuck on the treadmill.
Maybe I will take a spin class at the gym, we will see.

Still haven't been able to get a hold of the dr. to go over the MRI results or the shoulder x-ray. I'm frustrated. The dr's staff if pretty poor, I get the feeling when I go in there there the girls don't know what they are doing most of the time. I called for the 3rd time to try and set up a phone appt. and the receptionist said I would get the results in NOVEMBER. I said no, that is not what the Dr. said. So we had a little disagreement. Finally she said she would have the dr. call me when he was able, I gave her my work and cell phone number, because I was AT work and told her I would be there until 5 pm. No call received. I got home and there was a message on my machine from the dr, sounding a bit irritated that I wasn't picking up. The girl gave him my HOME #. Pissed me off. When I finally get in touch with the dr, I will let him know the difficulty I have been having with the staff. I just want to know the results....but I already do know the results from the past MRI's. Sigh...

Gotta go get school supplies. My daughter graduated highschool as a junior last year and is starting college tomorrow. My son is 8th grade. I feel OLD....;) but I a RUNNER/BIKER chick.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

MRI's Suck but Good Conversations are GREAT!

Had MRI for the vision loss and dizziness on Monday. One would think I'd get used to them, I have had so many of them. But no, I fight the "freak-out" factor of having my head caged down and stuck into a tub just inches away from my face. It's also SO LOUD. One of my ear plugs fell out when she put the cage on and I didn't have time to fix it so I spent what seemed like forever inside this awful pounding, buzzing, throbbing machine. They say there is nothing to feel, but I swear I could feel it "attracting" the water ions in my head, like a flushing of the face feeling. I don't know if those feelings were real or just imagined, but whatever. Didn't hurt, just strange feeling. It was also hard because of the vertigo...I seem to always feel like I'm falling off the bed, even when I know it's flat, not tilted. So I had to keep it all together and get it over with. I was pretty worn out after it was finished.

They kicked me out of there right away and I was still feeling bit disoriented and ears ringing, I found a couch in a waiting area and just relaxed a bit. I was wearing the t-shirt I got in the Humpy's run and a guy walked past and said "cool shirt, did you run??" I told him yes, just the 5K (there was also a 1/2 marathon and a full marathon). He asked how I did and I said it I was happy with my run. He told me he ran the full marathon and he was happy with how he did and it was hard to walk still, as his legs were stiff and sore. So here I am, just finished from being pelted with supercharged magnetic rays, chatting with a SUPER RUNNER, a REAL runner, a MARATHONER - That's 26.2 miles!!! He was in the top 30 or 40 finishers, so he is REALLY good, that's a BIG deal (at least to me). I tell him I'm not a good runner, I'm slow but I enjoy it. He says that's all that counts and at least I'm out there moving. He then had to get back to work. What a nice guy, and how cool to have something positive come up just when I needed it. I went home, too tired to run or bike but feeling a lot happier than when I went in.

There is a local 5K this Saturday, I would like to run it, it will be the last race before the snow comes, I think. I have been feeling pretty good. I will start hydrating myself good tomorrow and decide Saturday morning. The weather is supposed to be nice Saturday, it shouldn't be too hot since it is Autumn here. I do better in cooler weather.

I love my running shoes, Muzino Wave Creation. They rock. Especially good with the Asics running socks. My feet just sink into them...ahhh. Ok, that may be weird, but if you run, you understand.

I stopped at the bike shop today after work. I really love my bikes...I have the K2 road bike and also a Cannondale mountain bike. The bike shop has studded tires for winter riding. That would be fun if I could figure out a way to keep warm without having to dress in so many layers that I am the size of a Sumo Wrestler.

Next week we go to our cabin in the wilderness. We have to hire a bush plane and be flown in. I don't run while I am there, too many bears and the only thing that runs in the wild is PREY! Hope to see swans, caribou, moose, eagles, go fishing, pick blueberries and have a good time. Its a place where your soul can relax, it soaks up the beauty and smiles. I won't be posting while I'm there, no electric, phones, bathrooms...but we have the best outhouse ever :).

Life is Good!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Humpy's 5K 08/21/05

Got my race results from the Humpy's run yesterday: 36 min 14 seconds. Not my best time, but hey, I had a bad week, ok...a bad month, so I'm happy just to finish!!

Here is a link to my soggy, smiley finish. It was pouring rain and a bit windy, but it was a run of a lifetime after a month of MS induced vertigo, weakness and then temporary vision loss a week ago.

I joined a gym and went for the 1st time today on my lunch break, did a fast weight training workout and then a 4 mile bike ride in the wind when I got home from work. My body and soul are rejoicing and giving a big sigh: it feels soooo good just to feel close to NORMAL again. There is just no way to describe it.

I go for an MRI tomorrow because of the vertigo and temp partial vision loss I experienced last week. I hate MRI's. I also have prostetic innner bones, I had surgery to remove diseased stapes bones that was cause hearing loss in both ears. Anyway, the would not do the MRI last week when it was originally scheduled because the prostetics are metal and they needed to know what kind so the MRI wouldn't rip them out of my head before they would do it. Got it all cleared up and the prostetics aren't metallic or attracted to magnets, so all is a GO!

I LOVE riding my bike. I have a K2 road bike, lightweight and skinny wheels. I love the speed, the wind, the feel of the bike. Riding is easier than running. I can smell things when I ride; flowers, grass, etc. I don't smell things when I run because I'm too busy breathing...HA!

I am not a natural runner, running is hard for me, I'm not really good at it, but it makes me feel like I am accomplishing something and that's why I do it.

I'm part of the Runner's World Beginner's Forum and have found a weath of knowledge there and some wonderful, supportive people. I recently posted there the problem I was having with MS that caused me to not be able to run. Then I shared yesterdays sucessful 5K and beating the monster and got some really great responses from my fellow forumites:

you showed a hell of a lot of heart, determination and tremendous will just to even think about doing this race. I figure if you can handle a cow stepping on your foot, you can handle just about anything. It's people and great runners such as yourself that that teaches and inspires me that the magnanimous power of the human spirit is boundless. Thank you for posting on this board for it is people such as yourself that all runners can draw hope and strength from. You are a great example to many and your contributions are much more far reaching than just your race results

Yes, I have cows and 1 stepped on my foot this spring, broke it pretty good!!! That cow better taste good.....

It inspires me to think you are out there running facing the challenges you face. Kind of puts it into perspective when I am just feeling like a whiner and a wimp that I have no clue what real challenges are. Congratulations to you and your husband on a fine race and welcome back to the world of normalcy.

Everyone's comments are wonderful and supportive.

I don't feel like I am doing anything special by running or biking. It's amazes me that ANYONE can run a marathon, half marathon, 10K or even a fast 5K. It all takes heart, commentment and each has it's own challenges. It's all GOOD! I just want to MOVE.

That's enough for now.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Not the fastest runner...

This is a photo I created, I think it's funny. Notice the banana peel I'm about to step on. I'm not last, I beat the frog, the old man with the walker and the butterfly!!!


1st Entry

I'm new to this blogging thing, let's hope I get it right.

I am a late 30's something married lady with a couple of kids. I am starting this to keep track of my fight against MS, which is like a monster or dark shadow that follows me around and rears up and smacks me sometimes.

I don't want this to be a downer, but a motivator. For myself and any other's who read this.

The monster attacked me about 10 years ago, hard and heavy. It took a very, very long time to recover from that attack. I was told not to excercise or do anything that raised my body heat or it could cause an attack. After years of just being seditary, I felt I was getting frail and wasting away and would die early just from being so fragile. That is SOO NOT ME.

I joined Curves, yes, Curves. Not because of I was overweight, like it's avertised for, but because it was as "safe" place, not like gym atmosphere with all these athletes flexing. Also I was able to do the machines, barely at 1st, but quickly gained strength, physically which lead to more self confidence.

I woke up one day after a dr's visit and decided I was going to RUN. I was no longer going to live in fear of MS and I was going this out of rebellion. I bought a treadmill that day and my life has not been the same since. My poor husband, he thought this was going to become a place to hang my clothes off, but I suprised him, myself and everyone who knows me. I ran my 1st 5k (3.1 miles) 4 months later. It was very emotional to cross the finish line. I wasn't fast at all, but I did it. I remember when I could barely walk, move, looked like a drunk because I lost my coordination and slurred speech. It was a BIG DEAL in my life.

I continue to run, have now added bicycling to running and just joined a gym to get some upper body strength going. I still fight the monster, this last month has been a battle and I even lost vision for a short time.

So here is my story, lived and written in defiance of MS.

Live is Good,