My account of life both on and off of two wheels...... "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Have I lost my edge?

I am starting to believe that I might just like training more than I like racing or maybe I just enjoy riding my bike without all the pressure of a good performance?  I am sure it is a combination of all of the above but something feels different for me this year.  I am having a hard time getting in the ‘game’.  I know a lot of you are thinking “give yourself a break considering all that you have been through this past year”.  I hear that and I understand that but have I lost my edge?  Will it come back?  I keep wondering when I’ll get my speed back and when will I feel like I can get out in front again.  

I have not done any races since the Bearscat50 and maybe that was a mistake.  Hindsight, I probably could have used the extra intensity that racing gives me.  But after some thought, I decided I didn’t want to forfeit my Saturday rides to race on Sundays.   It seemed more important to me to just ride.  This past Sunday, G and I headed up to Stewart to pre-ride the Darkhorse 40 race course.  We knew it would be marked, so we decided to invite our good friends along.  They had never ridden there and since the course was marked, we would not get us all lost. They do not race but love riding new trails.  They are also a lot of fun to be with.  While riding, Kim and I had a conversation about how great it is to just be out riding and how the racing will come back.  Her conclusion was - This year is just all about enjoying the ride and next year will be my season to go big again.   She is probably right about that.  I am truly still recovering from the years events.  I wish the only thing that I had to do these days was focus on my fitness but the reality is, I am still trying to pick up the other pieces of my life that got shattered because of cancer. 

The Darkhorse 40 is this Sunday.  As I mentioned, I will be racing it on my single speed.  I have been riding the SS almost exclusively since it was built up last month.  It is probably the most comfortable fitting bike that I have for this type of race course.  But feel free to ask me again at the end of a 40 mile race…..I know that I am ready for the distance of the race but it is a much faster course then the Bearscat50 was.  It it is all going to depend on how I feel that morning.  I have to get my Herceptin treatment this Thursday so there is just no telling how the days following will go.  

So it is off to the races we go- Wish me luck!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Trying to find balance: is it ever really possible?

Out of my handful of doctors, I have/had a Dr. A., Dr. B and a doctor D.  I have been joking all along that all I was missing is a Dr. C. 

Well, not any more- Meet Dr. C. my new GYN that has taken over as one of my many watchful eyes.  I had a follow up appointment with him last week to go over my most recent ultra sound results from the end of last month.  I had no reason to be overly concerned, as I had received a copy of the report from my oncologist when I went in for my Herceptin treatment.  She didn’t seem too worried.  Her response was matter of factly-“they are going to continue to torture you with these follow up tests.”   She then wrote out a script for yet another ultra sound follow up. 

She was right about the constant torture of being poked and probed, because Dr. C. is a bit concerned with the most recent findings.  Among many potential side effects that Tamoxifen can cause, the thickening of the endometrial lining is one of them.  In a rare case this can lead to endometrial or uterine cancer.  This is one of the things they are monitoring when I get these ultra sounds.   The new findings show mine has almost doubled in size in 3 months.   This could be my body just trying to adjust to the Tamoxifen or it could mean that my body is up to no good.  

I am scheduled for an endometrial biopsy in two weeks.  I really wish I did not have to take this drug.  I would be lying if I told you that this biopsy did not scare me.  Frankly, it is causing me a bit of anxiety to have to go in for this biopsy- The last biopsy I had on April 13th of 2010 set off a whole chain of events, so I am still a bit gun shy if you know what I mean.   
I really should not complain because none of this is really hindering me physically, so I am able to work full time again and ride my bike as much as time permits.   G and I have been enjoying the summer and have had some awesome rides trying to get ourselves ready for the next big race.  The Dark Horse 40 is less than two weeks away and I have officially switched my entry so that I will be racing my single speed.   

G took this photo during a great day in the woods.  You should be able to view larger if you click on it. 

My sister has been down from Maine since the end of June and will continue to be here until the first week of August working her summer job.   It has been so awesome getting to spend time with her and my nephew Jesse.  I feel so lucky to get this extra time with them both.   Last year was so different for us since she was pregnant and I was sick or recovering the whole time.  

Me and Jesse -4th of July 

Despite these new findings and feeling like I am still stuck in the ‘cancer vortex’, I have found comfort in the fact that those days are becoming fewer and farther apart.  I am not immersed in it all every moment of everyday.   Still trying to find that balance.   

Taking in the sunset together on the Hudson River.