Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Trail of DOOM

You all know the saying, I am sure... 'Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better'?

Well I'm here to tell you sometimes the saying 'Lesson Learned' is more appropriate than any of the other optimistic phrases out there. You may all remember the story I told last year when my bicycle broke down, half way through a 25 mile bike ride? Yep, I was 12 miles from my car, my bicycle had challenges and I rode my friend's bike back to the car with my clip in shoes on her regular pedal bike, all uphill, straight into the wind. Then I dropped my wallet in the garbage can that was littered with bees, after trying to figure out where Sue was patiently awaiting my arrival in the coolish weather.

Well, today we went out for a ride, and all I can say is that the Johnstown trail is the trail of doom... I will NEVER go back there because something always goes wrong. Long story short, from the moment I left my house until the moment I ate my dry cupcake that has the most delicious frosting, I struggled. The ride was tough, my brain was over working, my attitude sucked and my friend fell while riding on said trail.

I could be all down about this, and I kind of am, but the reality is, my life is so much better because I had a tough day. I'm sure there are some amazing lessons in everything that happened today but I'm simply not in the mood to learn those lessons quite yet.

Here is what I do know, every day that I encounter, that is extremely tough, I need to pick myself up, wipe off the gravel and move on. Essentially, because every day when I learn something new about any of my abilities and weaknesses, is a day worth living. And any day that someone or something is present and there to teach me about myself, I should take the opportunity to learn. Right now, I can honestly say I haven't been this exhausted in years, but every tough moment is worth it, because tomorrow will be another day and I will approach it with much enthusiasm and care that I approached today...

However I will NOT be going back to the Johnstown trail...

Now for a simple song that I love, and have been humming since I got home:


Sunday, April 20, 2014

My Stores

Isn't it the truth... We mostly talk about our bad service, rarely our good service and on occasion our outstanding service. I am going to change this. I am going to talk about the good and outstanding service from now on. Forget the crappy service, that doesn't matter anyways, I'll make a bigger impact by just not going back to the places that provide crappy services, you know, like Panera?

Anyway, I have officially decided that I have two stores that are more stores for my athletic pursuits. Fleet Feet Columbus (running store) and Roll (cycling store)... If only I could find a swimming store!

Well, I don't want to make a long story long, so instead I'm really going to keep it short.

If you want outstanding service and a great experience, I totally recommend going to one of these stores. I had shoe issues and Fleet Feet took care of me in such a manner it only deepened my loyalty to the store. The only reason this stinks is because Front Runner is 2 minutes away and Fleet Feet is 20 on a good day.

Also, if you want patient and thorough assistance at a cycling store, and you are a woman and want a woman who is going to take care of your needs, Roll is the place for you. I'm not kidding, my friend and I took note of the fact that after we left the store, ate dinner and went back, customers were STILL there from an hour or so earlier. The good news with Roll is that there is a location 2 minutes away from me, but the sales person I really like is at the store that is 25 minutes away on a good day. That is not to say I wouldn't go to the store down the block, because they are JUST as awesome.

So on this day of new beginnings (right? that is what Easter is all about), I am going to express my delight more so than my frustration about experiences.

Perhaps there will be a more interesting blog post today, but for now I'll leave you with that.

Here are links for my two favorite athletic stores, check them out!

Roll: http://roll-online.com/
Fleet Feet Columbus: http://www.fleetfeetcolumbus.com/



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Two Steps Forward

Have you ever taken a step backward with something and then wonder if you were ever going to take a step forward again? That has been my athletic life since my half iron man. I got so wrapped up in my MS, that I literally didn't think I would ever gain my athletic competence/confidence again.

If I am being totally honest, I literally gave up, took the back seat and became comfortable with the basic idea that I would do my half marathon every year and leave it at that. And then I made bigger plans by signing up for the Pedal to the Point MS ride and quickly came to the conclusion that I was officially nuts. I live with fatigue and exhaustion, so what business do I have signing up for a two day 150 mile bike ride? SERIOUSLY!!!

And then this weekend happened...

I met my running club out, and quite honestly wasn't looking too forward to our 9 mile run. It is a combination of a coach who runs way to fast and is unconcerned with the group, and wondering if I would ever be able to run 9 miles again. Bart Yasso was at our group run and gave me a little motivation by talking about the first time he showed up at the start line of Badwater having only run a marathon before doing this race. Hearing that made me think I needed to dig a little deeper, after all I have run a full marathon, so I had to be able to run 9 miles, right?

The run started cranky. I think I literally witched about things for the first three miles, at which point Sue pointed out how cranky I was. I decided to get a grip and quit my complaining. There were several awesome people in our group who decided to run with us for the entire run, even though they had 11 miles. They kept us going and soon I was smiling and laughing rather than fretting an frowning. 9 miles were down and I felt pretty amazing!!! I honestly haven't felt that good about a run in over a year.

Our uninteresting pre-ride photo.
Then came today. Sue and I were planning on a relaxing 20 mile bike ride today out near Springfield, Ohio. The true reason we were heading in that direction was because I love ice cream and was looking forward to a trip to Young's Dairy. That was motivation enough for me to get on my bike.

Anyway, we leisurely drove out to the trail, the whole time chattering away about life and I admitted to Sue that I was very nervous for this bike ride. We took our 'first ride of the season' picture and off we went, joking about how unexcited we both looked in the picture, but acknowledged that we would likely be exhilarated after the ride and would take a much better picture. We headed out and I quickly found my stride with riding. At about mile 9 I blew a flat and swapped out the tube, while snacking on a granola bar, and on we went. We stopped and had lunch and finished up our ride with about 25ish miles.

And how we felt post run, not scare, simply exhilarated...
I didn't immediately feel exhilarated, but I faked it and after eating ice cream and thinking about what we did this weekend, I really felt like a rock star. In all over 30 self propelled miles in two days. I honestly am perfectly fatigued and feeling extremely accomplished, and although the distances aren't exactly what we know we can do, this was a big weekend of two steps forward.

Thanks to Sue for putting up with my antics, because without her friendship and support, I might still be sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself...

Don't forget to donate to our bike ride if you are able, or simply send our team your well wishes. You can find all of the participants individual donation pages here, as many people are still trying to meet their $300 minimum donation: We're a Mess.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Where to get Potassium

Well, what did my weekend look like? Oh, you know, a typical Sarah weekend... I had a burger at Thurman's, watched the most exciting hockey game ever (Blackhawks won with three seconds to spare), ran a little, went to a Sheerer's potato chip factory, the football hall of fame, ate Amish, fell asleep during two movies and ate at Skillet, all the while spending fun times with the cousins and their technology!

I am a true fan of visitors, but it makes it even better when the visitors are up for an adventure. I mean, I can't stand sitting around watching the world revolve around me without participating.

So where are my bike adventures going to take me this summer? Well, all over the state of course, with field trips along the way. I mean, what better way to see the state than to use my athleticism to encourage trips to the Shawshank redemption jail, or Young's Dairy, or the world largest Amish buggy, or the presidential museum, or Kelly's island. The little road-side tourist stops are a missing part of American culture these days. I mean, seriously, where can you find a 6 story building built to look like a basket? Only along an off the beaten path in the middle of Ohio.

Let's get to the point here though... Potassium is a huge need for athletes. We lose so much of it while we sweat, as a result we have muscle aching and other significant problems when we are potassium deficient. What are some of the best foods to replace your potassium? Well bananas and the POTATO of course!!! Because of my cousin Marty, I learned that Ohio is the second largest producer of potato chips in the country. And now I have a new pit stop while making my rounds in Ohio to replace my potassium, the potato chip factory. Take your pick:

Sheerer's
Grippos
Ballreich's
Mike-sell's
Conn's
Jones

Go on a field trip on your bicycle and replace that potassium at a local potassium (err... potato chip) factory along the way.