Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Utah Cyclocross-Cross Out Cancer

This weekend is the 2nd annual Utah Cyclocross-Cross Out Cancer event.  The Utah Cyclocross series (UTCX) is a 12 race series that is hugely popular in Northern Utah.  Last year, the promoters decided to dedicate one of the races as a fundraiser for Livestrong Foundation.  It was incredibly successful and they have committed to the Cross Out Cancer event again this year in hopes to raise money for Huntsman Cancer Foundation in addition to Livestrong.

The day is packed full of fun with something for everyone.  There is a 5k trail run in the morning and a fun ride later in the day.  Between these two charity events will be cyclocross racing.  In cyclocross racing, racers ride basically a road bike with a little beefier tire.  They race around a relatively short circuit and have to get off their bike and run over barriers. 

It is incredibly spectator friendly and rowdy spectators and heckling of the racers is actually encouraged!  The beefier tire is necessary because racing is mostly on dirt in the Fall when it is typically cold, rainy, or snowy.  

This weekend is looking to be beautiful though.  There will also be a silent auction all day long where you can bid on fantastic schwag.  Proceeds go to Huntsman Cancer Foundation and Livestrong Foundation.  

Here is basic information for the event:
Where: Wheeler Farm
When:  October 18, 2011
7:15  Registration opens
8:00  Start of 5k trail run
9:00  Silent Auction Opens for Bids
9:10 Course open for pre-ride
9:30 Racing begins (I'm going off at 11:15)
1:25 Fun ride
3:00 Silent Auction Bidding Closes

If you cant make the event, you can still participate by donating!  I have set up a page for donations.  Of course, every small amount is truly appreciated.  I recently saw a statistic where it was projected that a total of 1,596,670 new cancer cases and 571,950 deaths from cancer will occur in the United States in 2011 alone! (CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians Volume 61, Issue 4, pages 212–236, July/August 2011)  Clearly cancer affects many and continued research is imperative.

If you would like to donate, click here.  Donations can be made through the middle of December.  100% of the donations will go directly to research.  


  1. Hey Jen - sounds like a great series - will you race?????

  2. Lee, I'm racing this one....on a SS!

  3. I'm grateful for your blog. I found it yesterday because I was doing searches similar to the ones that you did looking for information about your diagnosis. Now I'm hanging on your every word!

    In September 2011 I was diagnosed with two sites of invasive lobular carcinoma and the recommendation is for mastectomy, optionally bilateral. Surgery is not yet scheduled, haven't even had the MRI yet.

    I am so afraid that this will mean a loss of ability to lift, bike, play frisbee, and lead a pain-free life. My cancer "team" has not been informative or helpful; they don't even understand why I would *want* to pick up anything heavier than a small purse.

    Your blog is the one ray of hope that I have found in the last month since my diagnosis. Seeing you come back from all of that surgery and chemo has been both very upsetting but also comforting--weird combination, I know. After a harrowing month, I finally am able to see how I might be able to get through this and live a decent life.

    I have one question I hope you are willing to answer. Do you know what structures were removed? Did they take off the fascia of the pectoralis major? Since it seems to be standard procedure I assume that is what they did with you; but on the other hand, you seem to really like your cancer team so I'm wondering whether they left that structure in to preserve your athletic capacity.

    Thanks a lot for telling your story. It's been a huge, huge help to me. You're awesome!


  4. Carolyn, I am so sorry about your diagnosis. I had the same fears and was given a lot of misinformation about what I would/would not be able to do after surgery. It helped so much to find other active women who have excelled after treatment; we are out there! I will say that even though my entire strength and ROM have not yet returned, I am able to do your list pain free. Although this has been a long journey, I am ahead of where I thought I would be physically at this time.

    As for your question. I looked back at my surgical notes. It looks like some fascia was removed at the time of my lumpectomy, but during the mastectomy my surgeon states 'We carefully dissected the breast off the pectoralis major muscle leaving the fascia behind. As we were coming underneath the prior lumpectomy site, we did enter the cavity at this point; however, we had already taken the fascia of the muscle".

    I hope that answers your question. If you want to talk more, please let me know. Good luck!

  5. Jen - good luck at the race!!!!!
    Carolyn - I'm so sorry you've joined this club of people diagnosed with breast cancer. I also share your fears. My diagnosis was end of July. I will be having bilateral mastectomy after chemo is completed. I'm seven cycles down, nine to go. I am afraid of early menopause, losing my high end fitness, losing my strength... and more. I'm also afraid of recurrence and all the "regular" cancer fears. When I ask questions about return to athletic fitness, I'm sometimes met with what really looks like a blank stare... I'm looking to Jen's journey as an example of how to do this. I ride every single day. Some days are slllooooowwwww and short... Others are longer and moderate in speed. Overall, I'm finding it is the BEST anti-nausea drug... Please feel invited to email me as well.
    I will also be racing this sunday here in MN, although this week's chemo was a tough one. So... I'll be - er - riding while everyone else is racing... And my kid's gonna race too! Overall, I project a good time to be had by most (I include my child and myself in this category called "most").

  6. PS - heckling in cyclocross is indeed part of the best of cyclocross!!!! I love to get heckled... and I love to heckle! I especially love it when I get heckled by my nine year old! Ha ha!

  7. Vegan recovery drinks: LifeTime Life's Basics Plant Protein, made from pea, hemp, rice, and chia. I like the unsweetened vanilla flavor very much. It's really smooth and creamy and it has a complex mix of nice flavors. In 32 grams of powder there are:

    Fat 1 g
    Carb 2 g
    Protein 22 g

    There are no artificial sweeteners in this particular product from Lifetime, but read the labels--we got burned when we carelessly bought the one that has greens mixed in.

    I eat 30-40-30 at every meal and snack, so to make a complete, zone-balanced recovery drink I mix in some extra virgin olive oil and Ghirardelli sweet ground chocolate. This is easier than it sounds; when I bike to the gym I put the dry ingredients and oil in a yogurt container and then mix in water at the gym.

    I read that you were avoiding sugar, so another way to add carbs would be to use a powdered green drink. I like Trader Joe's green drink (this one:

    Another vegan recovery/snack drink that I came up with is a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast mixed with Very Green Drink and olive oil. Tastes a little bit like chicken-and-vegetable broth, especially if you add some favorite savory spices. I like being able to have a recovery drink sometimes that isn't sweet-tasting. This concoction is maybe a bit more difficult after a race away from home, since it's preferable, though not required, to have warm/hot water to mix it with; but if there are tea water dispensers at the end of the race that would solve that problem.

    I meant to mention this in my first comment, but was too wrapped up in my It's-All-About-Me problems and forgot. :) --Carolyn

  8. Thanks Carolyn! I will try some of your suggestions. Last weekend I did 1/2 packet of Vega Whole Food Optimizer mixed in a water bottle with a touch of Apple Cider Vinegar. The ACV seems to be helping with my Tamoxifen hot flashes.

  9. Jen and rleepen: Thank you very much for your replies! I would like to write to you privately, and wanted to let you know who I am ahead of time so that the notes won't get lost among spam. I will send from my domain name

    I just had my MRI on Tuesday. They discovered a third bigger lump in the same breast. Basically it seems like I don't actually have a left breast, it's just all one big fat tumor on that side. So now it looks like I will also need chemo before surgery. The examples that you two are setting are becoming really really important to me. I'm a lot less afraid now. Last night I told my sister that I'm going to try to wrangle my treatments to be closer to my neighborhood (rather than 35 miles away where one of the doctors is) because I want to ride my bike there like you! :)