Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Your invitation to join us...and be PROUD

Here's a invitation to everyone....

Has the idea ever crossed your mind to run a marathon or a half? Have you said to yourself...I think I can do that but don't know where to start? Do you say...I want to get back in shape...maybe I should start running? Or do you read this blog and say to yourself, I want to honor someone who is battling leukemia/lymphoma or any other cancer for that matter? Well if the answer is YES to any of those then please pay close attention.

The winter season for Team in Training starts in August. I am a mentor for this team and I would LOVE to have you out there running with me for no other reason then it will change you...all for the better! I will be participating in the San Antonio HALF marathon along with Will and I will also be doing the White Rock FULL marathon!

You pick an event (one of the ones below) and in exchange for top-notch coaching & clinics that will help you successfully cross whatever FINISH LINE and distance you will change your life...and save someone else's!

Plus you get to run/walk with us each week : ) and meet new friends!

Join our TEAM - Train Endure Achieve Matter!

Rock 'N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon - Enjoy the River Walk, Sea World, REAL Mexican food, and much more in beautiful San Antonio. Alumni and experienced runners/walkers are welcome to sign up for the full marathon as well.

White Rock Marathon, Half Marathon, and Relay - The best local event we offer. Run and walk in your own backyard with your friends and family cheering you on.

Walt Disney Marathon, Half Marathon, and Goofy Challenge - Make a family vacation out of your event, or go GOOFY if you think you can handle it.

If you are interested attend an INFO meeting. They start in July and are all over the metroplex. I will be attending these 3 meetings, but there are more so if you need another location contact me.

Allen - Allen Public Library
300 N. Allen Dr., 75013 Sat., July 10 at 10:30 a.m.

Plano Central Market
320 Coit Rd., 75075 Tues., July 27 at 7 p.m.

Denton - Greenhouse Restaurant
600 N. Locust, 76201 Wed., July 14 at 6:30 p.m.

Here are a couple more:

Frisco - Cantina Laredo
1125 Legacy Dr., Suite 102, 75034 Tues., July 20 at 7 p.m.

McKinney - Market Street
6100 West Eldorado Pkwy., 75070 Sat., July 17 at 10 a.m.

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Friday, June 18, 2010


After doing these endurance events, most of which are outside the Dallas area, I think it is interesting that the first thing I packed (the Wednesday before we left) was my event gear – helmet, shoes, cycle shorts, jersey, and food….I was leaving Friday morning June 4 and hadn’t even packed a change of clothes and we were gone for 4 days! I did manage to throw a few changes of clothes in a bag at the last minute : )

Ok – Tahoe was already 2 weekends ago so my apologies that this is late but we got back from Tahoe on Monday June 7 late at night, got caught up on our home-life routine and then left again on Friday for a wedding in Austin. We are back to some semblance of reality and I have sorted through all the thoughts and feelings of the training season and event and I might actually be able to make sense enough to put everything down on paper. First, of all the events we have done, this is by far the one I have looked forward to the most since I met Dianna in 2000. She had completed Tahoe a few months before we met and really displayed a sense of accomplishment and pride – both qualities that I found attractive – and it was certainly the catalyst for my involvement with TNT. So for me, personally, the Tahoe event was 9 years in the making and I can’t even begin to articulate how excited I was so I am not going to try – let’s just say I was totally pumped…enough said!

Before totally focusing my thoughts 100% on this weekend, I have spent a significant amount of time thinking about the past 6 months – most notably my new friends and my new honored hero Georgia. I guess (for me) it all started when we signed up for the White Rock Marathon to honor Allie’s remission. Dianna and I wanted to do something for her and with TNT but I didn’t really expect much more after that – I kind of went into it with the thought that we would train and finish the event and then go back to doing events and training on our own without a team. Those thoughts changed for me when I met David and Meg Burdette – our White Rock Marathon coaches. As a coaching “team” they were simply wonderful in how they helped the entire team train – from beginners to seasoned marathoners. The way they displayed kindness and respect to everyone was simply a life lesson in how we should treat others the way we want to be treated. Not only were they great to the team but even more important was no matter how cold, hot, miserable, or tired we all were Dave and Meg made sure that we spent time at EVERY training session to remember our honored heroes and why we were there. There were times that were sad, happy, funny, and touching but Dave and Meg never forget (or let us forget) the importance of what we do and who we do it for. They alone are responsible for our continued participation and efforts with TNT….so thank you to Dave and Meg!

To continue the theme of new friends and new honored heroes, it was distressing to hear from a high school friend of Dianna that one of her family members (Georgia) was diagnosed on her 10th birthday in December. I knew that this was all we needed as a “sign” that we had to keep going, we had to keep fundraising, we had to keep up the momentum, we had to keep training with the team, and we had to let Georgia and her family know that, although they were just hit with a life changing event, and even though we did not know them, they were not alone. So after embarking on this new mission, we continue to be happy to pass along the reports that Georgia is doing well with treatment, she is in remission, and almost to her full maintenance phase of treatment. Every time I tell someone Georgia’s story I think about how a strong-willed little girl, advances in medicine, and the generosity of all our friends and family can make such a monumental difference – not just in beating one case of Leukemia but in the overall fight to end it once and for all. While I am thinking of everyone’s generosity, I have also been thinking that it is important to remind everyone where donations go. A great example is a drug called Gleevac which was formulated by a Doctor that was funded by a grant from The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Gleevac works by targeting, and turning off, specific proteins in cancer cells that cause the cancer cells to grow and multiply. The great thing about Gleevac is it is a pill, it works well with newly diagnosed patients, and provides treatment without chemotherapy! Please know, remember, and be proud that pledging a donation doesn’t end when the check is sent – that is simply the beginning of a process that ultimately helps save lives! In fact, I have a teammate, Krissy Drupp, that rode Tahoe with us and she currently takes Gleevac. Krissy was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) in February 2009 and she will take Gleevac every day for the rest of her life. Simply amazing…is what comes to mind! Krissy was also featured in the TNT June newsletter and stated that her positive attitude made her a success for the 100 mile ride and she couldn't have done it without her "new TNT family!"

Now for the ride!! All through the training season the Tahoe alumni all said the same thing – “it is never windy in Tahoe”….well Mother Nature must have known I was coming because it was windy….20mph gusts. Fortunately, training in Texas prepares any cyclist for the wind but when you couple it with mountains it becomes a bit more challenging. The morning started out sunny, chilly, crisp, dry, and quiet – a perfect morning to start a ride. Lake Tahoe is beautiful – snow capped mountains, blue water, white sand, and spectacular views from the mountain roads. 12 miles in was our first significant climb – Emerald Bay – about 800 feet of climbing over a 4 mile stretch of switch-back road. Good thing this climb was at the beginning because it was tough. Our team started the ride earlier than most so I did not see anyone get off their bike to walk up. What I did see, and I am likely one of these, was folks that were spinning their cranks just enough to stay upright to get up the mountain. The great thing about climbs like this is what goes up must come DOWN!!! The other side was almost straight down for about 800 feet over about 2 miles which was nothing short of thrilling. The middle 50 miles was fairly uneventful as it was mostly flat with rolling hills. The last rest stop came at mile 72 at which point the climbing started again…this time roughly 1000 feet over 8 miles. The climb itself wasn’t too bad except for the fact it was toward the end of the ride and most folks are getting tired. I came into this rest stop thinking I should he happy as the ride was almost done. But for some reason I wasn’t feeling the excitement of most of the others. I knew I would make it through the ride and I knew the coaches prepared us adequately. I had completed many tough training rides, finished the Shiner event a few weeks prior, and managed through all the typical aches and pains of training. I knew that I had done everything to get through all the climbing so I wasn’t worried about what lay ahead of me in terms of riding. As I look back on it I was thinking about what lay ahead of me after the ride. I was riding toward the end of the season, the end of training, the end of Saturday morning rides with the Team, and ultimately the end of something I had looked forward to for so long. I was definitely sad because in my mind I was riding to THE end. I didn’t really know how to articulate my feelings at the time so I made it a quick rest stop and told Dianna I was just ready to go. Ultimately, I almost felt that it wasn’t fair that I was done and many of our honored heroes – like Georgia – are still almost at the beginning. I spent 6 months training for this event and the season all came to a close in one day. Georgia, and many others, undergo 3 years of treatment and a lifetime of concern that their Leukemia might come back. So in a way I was feeling like I didn’t want our season to be over – I wanted to keep going because I knew our momentum was amazing and ultimately, I felt like every time our team went “out for a spin” we were there with our honored heroes, fighting right along beside them.

We will continue our momentum with TNT as Dianna has already signed up for more running events and will likely be mentoring on the winter run/walk season which begins in August (again with Dave and Meg as our coaches), so it isn’t really over for the Bacons with a Cause. Dianna is running her first FULL marathon on October 31…the 35th anniversary of the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington DC…one of the top 10 in the nation. She is doing this to celebrate her 35th birthday which is the week before. She also registered both of us for the San Antonio Rock and Roll Half Marathon in November – the weekend of our 8th Anniversary. Meg said she knew we were hooked because we sign up for endurance events to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. We have to agree with Meg and think it is easy to see where our minds are these days. I think this past year may very well be just the beginning for us! We also think we got our kids hooked as we ran in a Memorial day 1k and our little man who is almost 3 ran the entire 1k…he refused to get in the stroller. It was a proud parent moment to say the least!

Thanks so much for all the generosity everyone has shown - every little bit helps and there are many ways to donate money or time. Since the first funding in 1954, LLS has awarded more than $680 million in research funding….donor funding, your funding, so be proud that you are all part of the fight!

Until next time – keep Georgia on your Mind and be on the lookout for more from Bacons with a Cause! If you are considering completing an endurance event…please contact us as the winter season begins in August and we’d love to have you on our team!

Oh and one more thing…as you watch the video Dianna put together…the red cowboy hats on our helmets help others know what chapter we are from. Remember there were 3300 cyclists in the event and 1300 are Team in Training all wearing very similar jerseys…so each chapter wears something symbolic on their helmets. It is very entertaining for all the spectators!

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Thursday, June 10, 2010


This past weekend was fast and furious...there wasn't much down time in Tahoe as everyone got checked in, went for test rides and prepared for the big event! Tahoe was beautiful...and the weather couldn't have been better for a century ride. I won't go into detail about Will's ride...I'll leave him to post all that next week but I wanted to let everyone know that he did complete America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride...all 100.96 miles!

Also, a very interesting note is that Sunday, June 6 was also National Cancer Survivor's Day! We want everyone to be a survivor which is why we participate in events like raise money for research because research saves lives. And that wouldn't be possible without each of you...our friends and family who donated!

Lastly, I want to share that this past Monday was Georgia's last day of Interim Maintenance - that means 3 phases of primary treatment down, 1 to go! From what her mom said...the last one is the toughest, but it's also the LAST one before maintenance. So every day will bring Georgia one day closer to her finish line! Please continue to send thoughts and prayers her way!

So that's all for now...look out for Will's post next week.

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Friday, June 4, 2010 we come!

So Will's ride is this Sunday, June 6 with a start time of 6:00am! There will be 3300 cyclists that day completing either a 72 mile or 100 mile course. All Team in Training participants ride the 100 mile course. Here's a little more about America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride...

The ride circumnavigates the highways clockwise around Lake Tahoe in both Nevada and California adding an out and back on Highway 89/ Bike Trail to visit historic Truckee, California. It includes a challenging 800 foot climb to a rest stop overlooking Emerald Bay and a 1,000 foot climb to Spooner Junction (which as you can see above in the elevation map begins at mile 80 and peaks at mile 88). There are also many short rolling ascents and descents totaling over 2,600 vertical feet of elevation gain! The altitude ranges between 6,300 feet and 7,100 feet above sea level and the ride is recommended for conditioned recreational bicyclist, not for beginners. On the downhills the riders can be at speeds of 45mph!

The ride is also proud to be the century selected by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training Program where participants from over 69 different cities across the country will raise over $8.5 million to support their mission of finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life for their patients and families.

Please keep Will in your thoughts & prayers this weekend as well as all the other cyclists. I'd like to ask for a special prayer to go out to the family & friends of Fred Brickner. He was a teammate of our dear friends, Tommy & Sharon, who live in Orange County (CA) and will be cycling along side Will this Sunday. They were finishing an 85 mile training ride on May 22 and at mile 82 Fred collasped. A fellow teammate called 911 but they could not revive him. This would have been Fred's 5th time to complete the Tahoe read how he got started visit his TNT page...its quite a story!

So to my amazing husband who has made me incredibly proud completely two centuries in a month and all TNT cyclists...Good luck!

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