Friday, April 06, 2012

Green Valley -Tucson JHC camp 2012

Well I have put off this blog long enough. Not on purpose, its just I sorta lost the blog Mo-Jo this winter. It felt like it was C cubed. Cancer. Chemo. Confused.  ( me) But after this nice trip i really feel alot more clear and alot better about the C x 3. Now i feel a bit more like my life is C x 2, of C squared. I dont feel as confused. And since i cant control the other C's that is a good place to be. More on that later but for now some thoughts on Arizona!

Rich and i left thursday night LATE LATE LATE after he got unhooked from his 2 day chemo drink. we got in quite late Mtn time, making friday seem like a weird and crazy day. We put bikes together, rode VERY Slowly, and just sorta got our legs back. Bed time at 8 pm Mtn Time was 10 pm CST and i tried so hard to stay on this time since in a week i knew Ms. Daisy would have us up at 5 bells. No such luck. I quickly got into the 10 pm bedtimes, and 7 -7:30 am awakenings. Which was great bc we wanted it to warm up to ride, less arm warmers and jackets that way.

As much as i LOVE being up in Tucson, Green Valley reallly affords you many more ride options with much less traffic and much better scenary. I know i am chatting a bit about places you have no idea about, but for those of you that love Tucson to ride, think about dropping down south, parking in Green Valley and finding some other places to ride besides Lemmon and Gates Pass. I still have not done Kitt Peak, that is a must do, and I have heard from Willie of Willie's World of Cycling that riding in Patagonia is a must do as well.

That being said we did ride alot but not a ton of distance. My goal for the week before camp was to prime the pump but not run her dry. I think i did a good job of that. The highlight was riding to Aravaca, where we always see alot of Border Patrol and often some illegals looking hot and tired. The road heads south for about 23 miles with a gradual climb ( 2-4% grades) then you stop at the coffee shop and drink and eat some cakey muffin that you always regret, then you get to sail on home. It's a really fun ride to WORK some WORK into and i did just that. All in all that day was about 65 miles. The T run i had after was a bust tho, which left my spirits low. I had been struggling with a cranky quad ever since it cramped in that half mary a few weeks ago. I was babying it alot but it would NOT LET go. Finally after Richs daughter Emily came, it let up bc she is the BEST massage therapist there is. Seriously. That does not come easily from me. I have plenty of people that want to act like a manual GRID and pound that quad out, but only Emily and my PT have been able to get in there and actually open it up, not just tenderize it. Remember that people, good massages arent about bruising and hurting ...and no bruising isnt toxins being removed. It's blood.

So after Emily had her time with me i was golden. I kid you knot not. ha.

I didnt do much swimming in Green Valley just a few recovery 1200's, and that was fine. I dont go to Tucson to swim. It was hot in the pool and it smelled like perfume, much like my Y at home.

We grilled, ate well, hung out with my mother in law and slept. Perfect for the pre-camp jitters.

CAMP!!! I didnt take tons of photo's. I was on my 4th camp ( Yes, JH forgot to mention that i have been at all 4 camps as well as KO) but I have to say i really enjoyed this camp as much as the first. Pink socks were still a hot item this camp as much as 4 yrs ago, thanks to Recovery sox!

ME and MB giving the camera girl ( Jenny) some attitude.

It isnt about the individuals as much as how we all interact and this camp, much like the first was a dynamic that had EVERYONE genuinely pulling for everyone else. It was pretty cool, and fun to be a part of it. Each morning we would say "IF we all arrive at the same time, then she cant get mad if we are late." ha!
We were never late, dont worry:)

Here are my off the cuff thoughts:
Lemmon. doesnt get any easier. but with a 25 this year as opposed to a 23, it sure felt easier:)
The cookie at the top is SO WORTH IT, but sometime i need to learn how to stop a few bites earlier so i dont hurl on the descent. Tho i was well fueled for a great T run with Jmac and my quad was good!
Emily worked it again that day and it was good!!

Madera Canyon! OMG i get giddy thinking about this ride. We rode it earlier in the week and i kept saying to Rich " are you sure you want to ride this?" OF course i was dying and i had all sorts of "I can do this with camp later, or if i do this now if i cant at camp i can say i already did it!" but for me it was good to do it, since i had an idea of where landmarks are. This is the first ride i ever did when i came to Green Valley 5 years ago with Rich. I got off the plane, we rode this and seriously i dont remember it being as hard as it is today. Maybe it got steeper! Of course the ride from GV is 40 miles, you dont have to ride down from Tri Sports:) I just know riding with Glen up into the Canyon kept me moving and then when he "fast twitched" it up the last mile i knew i had to keep on plugging away. Rich was at the final turn and gave the women a little TDF push which was much appreciated. Considering Antonio rode the Tri Sports van/held the mirror all the way up the last section i think we all get awards for Self motoring up! T run after this was hot but so good. Again i ran with Jmac and loved getting to know her.
I kept on a bit longer bc i know St Croix is going to be hot and a noon sun is needed to get some heat acclimation if even for 3-4 miles.

Running in Sabino is ok. to be honest I love to hike trails like that. Not run em so much. My lower legs just dont do as well. As much as i did feel happy to get to that top, i did roll my ankle a few times and have paid for that this week with some sore Peroneal tendons. They are coming around, i have my way with them and my little tricks but they hurt. So next year i need to either wear some tighter shoes or run the road. Running the other trails were better but another roll and a Cactus into my shoe, thru my sock and my Left foot and lower leg have been begging thisweek.

Swims! I love swimming outdoors. I really love swimming in general and i just get sad when i realize i wil have about 3 mos, at most of outdoor pool swims here in MN. That is just plain wrong. I also realize that i do love circle swimming with fast people. I usually swim side by side in our pools here, some of that is bc there is often a pace difference, but i want to try to get my lap mates to circle more. ITs fun and i loved being in a lane with Stacey and Caroline. We had a rash of foot cramping going on in my lane, ok maybe it was just me with stuck toes, but ouch. I got out of some butterfly bc of that:)

It was a great camp and i cant say enough about Jen and Jerome. Best of all was Jerome pacing me up Lemmon on the 2nd TT. I really wanted to do 3 TT's but i am getting smarter in my old age. The first one was good. ( remember i am on my Road bike so i am pretty quad dominant) and at the top i told JH that i was going to Blow a GASKET in the 2nd one then decide about a 3rd. Jerome started with me and said " I am riding with you." GULP. no sandbagging now. So off we went. When he dropped behind me at about mile 3 and said he was tired I thought  " I have you now my pretty.!" hahaha, he had really gone fast in his first and i am pretty sure he was dreaming of his recovery beer, but he sure pushed me to the end of that TT and i finished 2 minutes faster than the 1st. Game over. I didnt want Phil Liggit to show up and say " the Rubber band snapped " so i smiled and made my way back down. The wind had picked up that day so those 5 miles down were sketchy. I was getting blown all over and had a hard time powering down to keep my wheels safe. So that was another reason i decided i didnt want to go back up. We still had one more day of camp, and i wanted to at least be mentally ready!

So there you have it.

And as for the C's, well we came home to Chemo on WED, fresh off the plane and a CT Scan yesterday. The Lung tumors remain but they are smaller and the tumor in the L4 vertebrae appears to be gone. So its as good as we can hope for now. The protocol appears to be working and we are thankful for the time we are getting to play on and off our bikes. Rich dreamed of riding up Lemmon last fall when he was diagnosed, and he not only did that but he did Madera twice:)
This pic is from a few years ago but its still applies! My neck looks way too skinny there.

As for my C, confusion, I realized after camp that i love to do this stuff. I dont love it in my basement in the winter. But I love riding. I love running. I love swimming. I love doing this stuff with great people that i met and know from Camp. And the racing? Yes I have a race soon. That makes me sick to my stomach. But really, as Marit say, that is icing on the cake. I do this stuff for the day to day lifestyle and how it makes me feel and how i feel i can help and affect others in my life. The races? Id be lying if i didnt say I want to do my best at each race and I want to win! But at the end of the day, I realized this trip that even if i had no race in a month, I would have done that camp just as i had! Smiling and doing the best i can.

Thanks for reading my long blog:)


elizabeth said...

Phew, I read the whole thing! Can I have a cookie & a pat on the back now?
Sounds like you & Rich had the trip you needed. :) And reading all of that makes me miss those long training days with good friends who will laugh through the pain with you.
St. Croix is coming up & you'll do fantastic, I just know it!

Steve said...

I skimmed parts, but only because in my darkest days I read all your parts. I trust you as one of my dearest friends. I don't need to know everything, because... like I said before in my darkest days I never worried one bit about you. xoxo.

Luv ya. :)))

Beth said...

Love that Rich kicked some cancer butt by riding up huge mountains mid-chemo!!!! Inspiring!!! Great to hear camp was so awesome and helped you refind your love/enjoyment for the sport. I agree - winter is tough for training but now it's time to enjoy!!! TIME TO RACE!! :)

Anonymous said...

So glad that the scans are showing improvement. You and Rich are an inspiration to me. Despite the two Cs, you are living our lives and I love it.

Danielle "Pedergraham"

Anonymous said...

I meant living YOUR lives!


The Miller Family said...


So nice to meet you and Rich...what an inspiration you both are. St. Croix will be awesome and you will do great this season. Hopefully we will catch up this summer!

cheryl said...

So awesome that Rich had so many great rides! And you too ;-) hope your next few weeks go super-ly!!

Molly said...

That's awesome that Rich did so well!!! I've been thinking about you both so much and I'm glad you had such a good time on the trip.

You were on Pacific time though not Mountain :) This is the 1/2 of the year where AZ is on Pacific time!

MB said...

Great post!!!

Angela and David said...

I am reading this at a hockey game while feeding a baby so I will keep it short - hooray for a good time and good news! Let's get together soon!

The Triathlon Rx said...

Glad you got to get out in the fresh WARM air, clear your mind, and take a break from the C^3 accumulating. You made me really excited for OWS and outdoor lap pool!

Caroline said...

Julia!! LOVED finally meeting you at camp and being one of your roomies. This goes without saying, but I wanted to say it anyway - you're an incredible athlete and an even stronger person with everything you and Rich have been going through. I loved the fact that he was out on his bike all week, flipping cancer the bird. I hope things continue to look up for you guys - and let me know if you are ever on the East Coast for some races (or just a visit!!)

Marit C-L said...

I love you guys! Looks like a SUPER camp.... ah - the pic from the first one. Classic. :) CONGRATS to Rich on Lemmon - I think of him often when I run (the goal is 10 miles! I'm up to 8!!!!) and you too - you guys are amazing. Hang in there - I'm thinking lots of positive thoughts for you guys. Happy and safe training. Three cheers for the icing :)


Damie said...

Hello lovely friend! So much to comment on, especially now that I know what you are talking about with different climbs in Tucson. I know you had a great time, and it probably happened at a great time for you too. xoxoxo Let's chat soon.

ADC said...

Great blog post Julia but most of all great news with Rich's treatment. I am so happy for you guys.

melissa caron said...
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