I Did It

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“The View” at the top of Clawhammer, Black Mtn Trail, Pisgah NF, NC.

As part of my recovery from acute myeloid leukemia, I set some fitness goals for myself. Early goals were more running and general fitness related. I ran a 5k. I ran a few more 5k’s. I eventually ran a half marathon. My knees were furious with me over that and I vowed to never do it again. After that, I swore off running because riding my bike is WAY more fun. My goals became more bike-focused after that. I set two goals for myself, and it’s taken a couple years to meet them, but I’ve done so…and then some. The first one I set for myself was an annual mileage goal. That was the first one I achieved, also. My goal was 500mi of mtb riding on the year. I met that goal in the late summer, and revised it to be 1,000mi of all-purpose riding. To date, I’ve ridden over 730mi on my mtb, and over 900mi total, so I’m within reach of hitting 1,000 all-purpose miles for 2015. The more difficult goal for me to reach was a 50 mile single ride distance. The roads around here are mostly flat, and in good weather, anyway, 50mi is not that difficult. It’s another thing on the mtb. Most of the mtb trail systems are comprised of smaller segments and loops, so a 50mi ride on those becomes more of a mental game, as you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel after awhile. With Yellowwood State Forest opening to mtb use officially, I got a chance. Not all of the potential connections are open yet, which will make even more options for long rides available. But I took advantage of one option this fall with a few other riders also interested in a long adventure-type ride. This was a most excellent ride. Because not all of the trail connections are open yet in this area, we had to make use of more gravel (and a little pavement) than I’d prefer. I didn’t take a ton of photos on this ride, especially towards the end when we were all hurting. Sasquatch Ride
The intrepid adventurers

Shaking Out the Cobwebs

Tuesday combined with some dry spring weather before a rainy week, a day off of work, and a strong desire to get out on the bikes.

My wife’s Blur (she has now named it the Sexy Vixen) is out of commission for the moment as the DT Tricon wheels are repaired. The rear wheel was out of true, and then I noticed some busted and mangled spoke nipples. Shipped it off to QBP for them to fix. That left the wife’s old Rockhopper (now named the She Beast) and she doesn’t enjoy that bike on the trails. She’s been hemming and hawing about riding it and finally her desire to ride outweighed her hesitation of riding a less favorite bike.

2013 OneAmerica Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon

On Saturday, I completed my first half marathon! Take THAT, cancer!

That was a really difficult race for me. You can see in my GPS track below that my legs just blew up after about mile 10.

Frankly, I didn’t train enough in the few weeks preceding the race. After I reached about 8 or 9 miles, I started having knee issues. I took time off of running and spent more time biking in hopes that those knee issues would heal up. I know now, after my trip to the med tent for ice after the race that my knee issues were IT band problems. I could have stretched that area out and continued running and felt better at the finish of the race.

Four Years of Remission and Mini Marathon Training

I recently had my 4 year checkup at MD Anderson to see my progress. It was mostly good. My platelets are still low, but consistent with previous tests. My small “trend” of slightly increasing counts has stopped. I talked to my Dr. and got the report about my brain MRI from 6mo ago, and learned that Harold (my brain stem lesion) is now completely gone. Yay!

Acute Myelogenous Leukemia Update

I already wrote about my experience running a local 5k race to finish the Cancer to 5k program last weekend.

Yesterday, I had a checkup with my oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center. It was my first “3 month” visit, meaning my previous visits had all been at about 1-1.5mo intervals. Last time, though, my doctor decided to let me go for 3 months between appointments. I had anxiously been awaiting the time when my appointment intervals would start increasing.

Cancer to 5k

I haven’t written in a little while, but I wanted to write about my experience in the Cancer to 5k program today.  The Cancer to 5k program is put on by the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (see their blog, too).  I can only say positive things about the experience.  I wanted to use the program as a springboard to regain my physical fitness and lose the weight I had been wanting to lose before I got sick.  I had packed on a good 25lb in the couple years prior to getting sick, and my overall fitness was suffering.

Leukemia Treatment Update

I got another 3-day round of Vidaza this week. The last time I got this stuff about 2 months ago, it made me really sick. I was throwing up and feeling really nauseous for the better part of the day. I told my doctors about that. Well, with my platelet count still being persistently low, my oncologist thinks that the Vidaza is still the best drug for me right now because it has a tendency to help improve my megakaryocyte (platelet progenitor cells) counts over time, and therefore, get my platelet counts back to normal.

My First Ride

Ok, so it’s not REALLY my first ride. But it’s my first ride since kicking leukemia in the @$$ almost one year ago (dx on 3/10/09 and remission on 4/10/09).


First Ride

:edit, my plugin is doing something weird connecting the city hall waypoint with the end of my ride. I look at the file on multiple programs in the original .tcx format and the .gpx format, and I don’t see that problem. I don’t know what it is.

Cancer Update, Doctor’s Visit 4 Feb, 2010

I had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday last week. The objective was to get another blood test and to get another MRI of my head to see if I was ready to get some low dose follow-up chemo. I got there a bit early, around 9:30am (considering I live 3hrs away, that’s early). I had them print my list of appointments before I got my labs drawn. Ugh…10:30am blood draw and 10:30pm MRI. Who does this kinda crap? So I go to get my blood drawn an hour early while my wife attempts to get my MRI rescheduled later. She has to work Fri morning and leaving Houston sometime after midnight (the MRI itself takes ~45 min) is not cool. My favorite nurse ever, Nurse Glenda pulled some strings and I got my MRI done before noon. Way to go Nurse Glenda!

First Trainer Ride of 2010

6 January 2010 got me going on the indoor trainer for the first time of the year. I’m not in very good shape for outdoor riding yet, and besides, it’s even chilly down here in Texas. I’d be relegated to road riding, and that’s too cold most of the time for road riding. Since I’m not fit or strong enough for the trails yet, that puts me indoors.