Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Myrtle Beach Half Marathon that would not be....

SNOW! I moved "south" about 12 years ago in an attempt to have less of it in my life. The first 11 years were lovely. Winters in VA are usually mild, chilly and relatively SNOW-FREE. You'll get the token 1-2" of snow but for the most part the roads stay clear and dry. It's a wonderful way to spend the winter - cool weather to remind you of the seasons but no true reason to skip your workouts - indoors or outdoors.

Until this February. Of course not only do we get SNOW - we get a BLIZZARD! Northern VA has had record snow fall this year! 50" since the start of the winter season. The roads are a mess but I had no worries...I was escaping to Myrtle Beach, SC for our annual Myrtle Beach Half Marathon and Bike Ride Weekend!

This was year 6 of the streak! It was the 13th Annual Marathon and Half Marathon.

It FREAKING SNOWED in Myrtle Beach, SC. Enough accumulation (about 3-4") to cause City Officials to go against Race Director recommendations of a Delayed Start and CANCEL both the Marathon and Half Marathon.

SNOW in Myrtle Beach, SC...I still wouldn't believe it if I had not been there and seen it.

So there was no official "Half Marathon" this year but we did have a WONDERFUL WEEKEND and helped my sister Heather buy her first bike and then go for a nice 14 mile bike ride on Sunday. (Micalob Ultra Myrtle Beach Bike Ride - 65/33/14 mile options) It was my first time back on my bike since my Ironman - yeah, that long! LOL

It was a beautiful sunny but chilly (38F) ride and Heather did really well for her first official group ride on her new road bike. You can read all about our ride on her blog post: My First Bike Crush.

I'll leave you with some photos of the weekend's adventure to enjoy. The Princess Half Marathon is around the corner, in less than 2-weeks and I have to confess I'm a little worried.....

What are the odds that it might SNOW in Disney World in March? Based on my season so far, I wouldn't bet against the possibility....

Aunt Holly and Rowen went out to play in the Snow on Friday Night...

This is what we woke up to on Saturday Morning...

Holly & Heather on Saturday AM:
wearing our BIB numbers for a short 5 mile jog...
so they canceled the race, we can still run...
(it was cold! I was the one who cried "uncle" after
the first loop and canceled our planned 13.1...)

Uncle Jim and Kain spent some quality time together playing with a puzzle...

Aunt Holly and Rowen: We built TRAINS out of blocks!

Heather and Holly - PRE-14 mile Bike Ride on Sunday

Jim, Heather, and Holly - Post Bike Rides on Sunday
(Jim rode 34 miles, we did 14 miles)

Heather: Runner, Mommy and Cyclist!
(Soon to be TRIATHLETE!)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

We interupt your regularly schedule life with....SNOW!!

So there is nothing to report, good or bad, on the 3-month follow-up with the Dermatologist because my appointment has been rescheduled due to SNOW! Heck, truth be told, the entire NOVA/DC METRO region is on hold thanks to Mother Nature.

This is INSANE! I grew up in New England, spend 4-years of college in freaking New Hampshire and even so, I can not remember the last time I saw this much snow fall in less than 2-weeks time.

It was quaint getting 2 feet of snow back in December just a week before Christmas. I didn't really have a problem with the 5 inches we got last weekend and I thought it was *fun* that we got a little more snow mid-week. But when the forecasters started talking in terms of FEET and not inches on Friday, in anticipation of this weekend's storm, I got a little frustrated.

But "Hey, it's the weekend, you'll probably get Monday off, enjoy it!" Right?

HA! It is now Tuesday and the Federal Government in the DC METRO region is still closed and we are under another Winter Storm/Blizzard Warning for the next 24 hours. They are predicting ANOTHER 10-16" inches of SNOW here in Alexandria and more if you live in Maryland and further North. This means that in all likelihood I will work ONE DAY this week: Thursday.

So what am I doing with all this FREE TIME?

Shoveling Snow

Playing with the Bengal Kitties (in the Snow)

Shoveling Snow

Watching lots of Movies with my husband

Shoveling Snow...

Did I happen to mention SHOVELING SNOW?


Friday we head south to Myrtle Beach, where the roads will be clear and dry. It might be a little chillier than usual for the 6th Annual Myrtle Beach Weekend but honestly, all I care about are clean dry roads to run and bike on, getting some quality time with my family and NO SNOW. (all fingers crossed! LOL)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Anxiety on the horizon...

I have a "cancer-versary" coming up and it's an important milestone in relation to my original cancer diagnosis. I'm coming up on my FIVE YEAR MELANOMA SURVIVOR anniversary.

To be honest, I am excited and scared to death all at the same time.

I'm excited to be currently above the "law of averages" for a reoccurrence and have reached this significant point on the Survival time-line.

In Feb 2005, (February 14, 2005 to be specific) I was diagnosed with Nodular Melanoma. In March 2005 that initial diagnosis was upgraded to Stage IIIB - Metastic Melanoma - meaning that surgery had determined that the Melanoma had spread to my lymph system. (1 lymph node to be specific and *thank god* that is was ONLY 1 Lymph Node...) I was fortunate to have no other major organ/metastasis involvement.

The 5-year survival rate ranges for my diagnosis are from around 25% to around 68%.

The 10-year survival ranges from around 44% to around 60%

I'm SCARED TO DEATH of the upcoming 3-month follow-up on Monday with my new Dermatologist, Dr. V - because he has me coming in early to "keep an eye on a few spots" that he doesn't really like. He want "proof" that these spots have not changed in the last 3-months before he will let me go back to "6-month visits."

The biggest anxiety, for any cancer survivors, is always REOCCURRENCE and so far (*fingers crossed*) I have managed to evade the typical trend of reoccurrence for my diagnosis.

67 percent of all recurrences were are within 24 months (2-years) and 81 percent are diagnosed by 36 months (3-years) after the primary melanoma.

- Regional nodal recurrences are commonly diagnosed earlier - 63 percent at 18 months and 74 percent at 24 months (2-years).

- Local recurrences and in-transit metastases are comparable - 55 percent of each at 18 months and about 66 percent of each at 24 months (2-years)

- Systemic recurrences are diagnosed later - 52 percent at 24 months (2-years) and 71 percent at 36 months (3-years)

Now, there isn't a survivor out there who will tell you that they don't have *any* anxiety when they go to the Dr. for follow-up care and I would be a FOOL not to be thrilled that my new Dermatologist "Dr. V." is so vigilant....BUT HONESTLY there is a little part (the pessimistic part of me...) that worries that these few little spots are going to MESS UP THE GOOD THING I HAVE GOING and ruin my plans for the "5-Year Cancer-versary" party & or happy hour that I wanted to have sometime this spring.

So for now, ANXIETY seems to be the "Emotion du Jour" until Monday afternoon when I see Dr. V. Until then I have ... Finger's Crossed, Toes Crossed & Sunscreen On (even in winter...)

"Yo Melanoma, I mean what I said 5 years ago: "Get OUT and STAY OUT , you sneaky little bastard - You are not welcome here so don't even consider making any second visits!"

That should have scared my moles into staying the same size as 3-months ago right? LMAO!

What can I do? Not much, just stay vigilant and continue to Live STRONG!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Will NOT let them get any tighter....

I am speaking, of course, of my jeans. My poor old jeans that were loose and baggy at Lake Placid, NY in July 2009 and *not so* loose and baggy in Wilminton, NC in November 2009 just before my IRONMAN glory; are now in serious danger of not fitting at all for present day, February 2010.


So there is much work to be done! Along with getting those jean loose and baggy (or PERHAPS trading those jeans in for a smaller size or two! hehehe), I have FINALLY come up with my RACE SCHEDULE for 2010. While there might be one or two "local" races added to this schedule, there will NOT be any other TRAVEL RACES added to this schedule.

It is, as many of you know, "THE YEAR OF JIM" and that must be respected!

Luckily some of JIM's events happen to be things I can do to! Benefit to having a husband who ride bicycles. We can train and sometimes race together! More so now than in the past.

Holly's 2010 Race Plan:

Myrtle Beach Half Marathon - Feb 13, 2010 (with Heather & Cathy!)
Myrtle Beach Bike Ride - Feb 14, 2010 (with Heather & Jim!)
Royal Family 5K - Mar 6, 2010 (with Heather & our Mom!)
Disney Princess Half Marathon - Mar 7, 2010(with Heather!)
Kinetic Sprint Triathlon - May 9, 2010 (with Keri & Team Z!)
Wilderness Road Ride - May 29, 2010 (with Jim & Team Z!)
Capital Crescent 5K - Jun 6, 2010: Team CANCER to 5K
Survivor Harbor 7 - Jun 13, 2010: Team CANCER to 5K
Mussleman Sprint Triathlon - Jul 10, 2010 (with Team Z & KERI!)
IronGirl Columbia Sprint Tri - Aug 22, 2010 (with Heather!)
Beach2Battleship Half Ironman - Nov 13, 2010 (with Team Z!)

So here it is in all it's glory - with ONLY 4 OUT-OF-STATE races (MD & WV do not count as "out of state" in my mind....) this season - I think it's the smallest race calendar I have had since I was diagnosed with Melanoma in 2005.

What can I say....I like to stay busy! And busy will help me keep my jeans in check!

Life is Good! Live STRONG!