Sunday, June 22, 2014

Last week I received an email from a HuffPost Live Associate Producer asking if I would be able and willing to participate with other athletes in a live discussion on how sport had a positive impact on healing from cancer treatment.  The "other" athletes included headliner, NY Giant Mark Herzlich, who also discussed his new book, Alex Niles, writer and former collegiate soccer player, and Jake Gibb, Pro volleyball player and Olympian.

Despite being right-smack-in-the-middle of moving, I did not hesitate to say YES!

The morning of the discussion, while still in my "moving" clothes from the day before, I had a short conversation with the Associate Producer and set up the webcam in my living room full of moving boxes.  The rest of the morning was spent figuring out a somewhat presentable 'studio' in our home full of boxes, finding respectable clothes to wear, and prepping my favorite accessory-my bike-for a studio backdrop.  Somehow, I was ready to go and 'on-air' by 11:45 that morning.

All dressed up for HuffPost Live wearing slippers:)

The discussion in its entirety can be seen here.  It was truly inspiring to be in presence of other athletes who have returned to high level competition after cancer treatment and I was honored to be included in the discussion.

Fortunately for me I had my hair cut earlier in the week.  Since I was showered, dressed up, and styling presentable hair, we took a photo!

36ish weeks and four haircuts since completing chemo

In other news, I raced my new green rocketship at Deer Valley this weekend.  I can say with absolute certainty that I love this bike!  Deer Valley has some of the steepest climbs around and the Pivot Les 27.5 makes them feel effortless.  Cornering has taken some adjustment as the bike is so quick and I was oversteering a bit, however I am getting it more and more dialed every ride and railed Deer Valley's tight switchback downhills faster than ever!  Good enough to finish 4th in a solid Pro Women's field!

The smile says it all:  I love racing! 
Photo: Trevor Hooper

Up next is my first MRI since completing Round 2 of treatment.  While there is nothing that is especially concerning to me at the moment, I will happily take positive thoughts and energy for negative scan results; especially at 8:00 tomorrow morning:)  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Wasatch Back 25 and other happenings....

I posted a little teaser photo of my new ride last week.

Racing my new bike at the Midweek race in Park City Photo: Lori Leger

It is a Pivot Les 27.5 hardtail.  The 27.5 represents the wheel size.  There are now three standard mountain bike wheel sizes.  The 26", the 29" and my new 27.5".  Pros and cons can be argued for each wheel size, although even though I only have a few rides (and one race) in on my new bike, I am feeling confident that the 27.5" wheel size is the perfect wheel size for me.  Once I have done a few more rides on varied terrain, I plan to write a comprehensive review of my new bike.  Something to look forward too.....

In the meantime, my mountain bike race season is ramping up.  This past weekend I raced the Wasatch Back 25.  It is a lumpy, chunky, rough 25 miles so it was a no brainer to ride my Pivot 429C dualie!  After over two hours of racing I beat my goal race time of 2:20 by 6 minutes and ended up finishing 2nd overall.  That said, there is always the goal of getting faster, although I do feel like I am making progress in that direction.  My race starts are improving and I am not coughing up a lung after the race.  Progress!  Additionally, all the core work I have been putting in to regain post-abdominal surgery strength is paying off.  This was my longest, roughest race of the year and my back held up nicely.

Some photos from the weekend:

It was a warm, dry, and dusty day in the Wasatch.   Photo: Lisa Palmer Leger
Lori's photos always make me look fast:) Photo: Lori Leger
Leading a group of super fast Summit Bike Club girls up the climb Photo: Dusty Powers
A few minutes into the race.  My starts are still hard, although improving.  Photo: Lori Leger

There are so many highlights from the weekend, however the bottom line is that I love riding/racing my bike.  It makes me feel strong, healthy, happy, and most importantly.....alive; something I strive and work hard for every single day.

Shannon and I also have some other exciting news.  We are officially Park City homeowners.  We pick up the keys tomorrow!  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Pivot Les 275

 A little teaser on my beautiful new ride.  Stay tuned for a full review.  I want to race it a few more times first!