Monday, May 16, 2016

3 years, my soapbox, and all things bike!

Today I am celebrating 3 years of remission! Three years is a HUGE milestone, but my motto is every single day that ticks by that I'm in remission is worth celebrating!

What's not worth celebrating is the (too) many women who are not in remission and have progressed to Stage IV breast cancer, for which there is NO CURE.  I am finding myself becoming more and more of an advocate and supporter for increased awareness and research funding for Stage IV breast cancer and here's a few reasons why:
-30% of early stage breast cancers will progress to Stage IV (metastatic breast cancer).  So while this affects me personally, it also affects many of my close friends that I have met through breast cancer.  I will repeat.  There is NO CURE for Stage IV breast cancer.
-While 30% of early stage breast cancers will progress to Stage IV, only 2% of all breast cancer research funding goes toward investigating Stage IV breast cancer.
-Each year ~40,000 women (and men) die from Stage IV breast cancer.  Despite progress in treatment, this number has remained virtually unchanged for 30 years!

Ok.  Off my soapbox and back to bike racing!

This Spring has been exceptionally full.  Since my last post I got a new race bike, raced a ton, bought a travel van, and was featured on Reebok's blog!

I'll start with the new bike since everything seems to be centered around biking.  I am the lucky new owner of a Pivot Mach429SL.  This is quite possibly the fastest and most fun bike in the world and I am so grateful to Pivot Cycles for their support.

My new ride is a sweet one!  Pivot Mach429SL

I am also grateful to my other supporters including:  DNA Cycling, Stan's NoTubes, Go-Ride bike shop, Xpedo pedals, Kask helmets, Ergon, Bliz eyewear,  HoneyStinger, Shimano, and Carborocket!

In addition to the new bike, Shannon and I purchased a travel van.  We weren't exactly in the market for a new van especially since one of my personal goals is to declutter and simplify.  Having a driveway full of vehicles isn't exactly in line with that, but this particular van was a better deal and in better condition than I thought possible so we are chalking it up to a 'happiness investment'.  It already has seen many adventures!

Our new 'home' on wheels.  2012 Nissan NV high top.  
#vanlife is freakin' awesome! 

Over the past few months racing adventures have taken me back to St. George and Moab, Utah as well as Prescott, Arizona.   I have even had a few podium appearances!

 3rd place podium at NUE True Grit Epic 50 miler.
My legs were just okay for this race, but strong enough for a podium! 

 Finish line high 5s

 2nd place podium at Moab's Thaw Massacre marathon race

 Carving between the rocks at Thaw Massacre

 Dizzy dog enjoying Moab's desert

 Post-race shenanigans  in Moab

20 miles into Epic Rides Whiskey 50 where I finished 17th in a heavy-hitting pro field
Prescott, Arizona is unique scenery and nice climate,
although it rained most of the weekend we were there

Finally,  Reebok contacted me wanting to share my story on their fitness blog.  Over the course of a few weeks I put 'my story' into words.  I won't deny that this process was emotionally taxing, but hopefully my story will help dispel the myth that women should sleep and rest through cancer treatment.  I can't tell you how many people encouraged me to do just that!  And it's not just little 'ol me telling folks to exercise, there is solid research showing that exercise not only helps you tolerate treatment better but also reduces risk of recurrence.   And for folks not undergoing cancer treatment, maybe my story will motivate a few to get out and exercise!  You can read my story here:  Reebok blog