You are currently browsing the blog archives for February, 2010.



The wheels on my bike….

By Leesa Gabel

…go round and round, but aren’t really doing anywhere just yet.

Craig got my Trek 1.2 hooked up on the cyclopes trainer. He added a handle bar extender….raised them up a few inches for me….and got me a Garmin accesory that will track my mileage/MPH. I’ve got padded bike shorts and an awesome Livestrong helmet. Now I’m ready to spin inside and get used to my bike and changing gears. I’m going to put little cheats on my handles to help me remember which is the front brake and which is the back — I don’t want to get those confused!

My mission this weekend is to find some long pants to wear — ones that don’t flair at the leg. Once I get pants and gloves I’ll be ready to ride on the road……I think. I’m still nervous about riding on the road, I’m only used to trail riding.

But I’m starting to get the hang of doing things I never thought possible!!



Let the training begin!

By Craig Gabel

Well we are a little over a week into the century ride training and all is going pretty well. It’s still winter thanks to that darn groundhog so training has been all in doors so far. We did a spin class a week ago which was actually fun and hard work. We ordered a new road bike for Leesa but after a week of waiting we found out it is on back order for three more weeks. The bike shop is willing to let her borrow or buy the next model up to get her on a bike sooner if she wants. Hopefully she will have something this week. We also got a Cycleops trainer so we can use our road bikes indoors rather than going to the gym to ride their stationary bikes. I gave this a shot on my road bike over the weekend and man was it a workout. I’d much rather be out on the streets. That would be so much easier. Hopefully the weather warms up soon so we can get outside and ride.



Team In Training

By Leesa Gabel

It feels good to be a part of Team In Training again. Yes, I know that I’ve never really not been a part of it, but it’s good to be back on a team and training for something. I’m a member of the Tahoe bike team and also a Honored Patient for the Texas triathlon team.

I hope to be able to travel with the Texas team to their event so I can cheer them on. It’s Memorial Day weekend and the following weekend is the century ride — it’ll be a very busy and very exciting week!!

One of the Honored Patients for my Tahoe team is a boy that I know quite well. Nathan Lux. I knew him before cancer through my sons school and scouting. He is such an inspiration. The strength and courage he displays is amazing!! And at such a young age. And the way the school and community have come together to rally around him is also truly amazing. Grace in action, that’s for sure!!

My goal going forward is to recruit others to join TNT with me. Being a part of TNT is definitely a life-changing experience. I thought cancer was the catalyst for my change, but I think I’m wrong…it was joining TNT….and doing something that I never thought possible.



Disney was a Goofy experience

By Craig Gabel

Sorry for the delay posting this race report. Goofy’s Race and a Half challenge is complete!  I had a great time this trip.  We started off with a few days walking the Disney parks with the kids and some friends of ours Nate and Kate along with their awesome kids.  After two full days, the third day (Friday) came.  Right around mid-afternoon Leesa and I at the same time looked at each other and thought…Oh no what have we done!  We were both feeling the 3 days of walking and the legs were a bit sore and now we have a 3:00 am wake up call coming to run a half marathon.  Yikes!  The wake up call came and off we went.  It was unbelievably cold for Florida.  Luckily we watched the weather report before we left Kansas (which was seeing sub-zero temps) and brought some cold weather running gear.  Even still the standing around for a couple hours before the start was bone chilling cold. It was in the mid to upper 20′s and snowing and sleeting.  Leesa had several layers and a wind breaker.  I had three layers and a designer wind break …aka a trash bag.  Once we finally got moving, it took a few miles to get warmed up.  I had set my Garmin to track our total average pace.  Leesa was doing great!  Her pace was right up with her fastest speed and she staying consistent each mile.  I was proud of her at the 1.35 mile point (she made it to 1.34 miles last year) and then as we entered the Magic Kingdom parking lot, then as we walked by the Contemporary resort and then on to Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.  She started to lose some steam right around the Contemporary resort.  I could see in her eyes that she wanted to be done with this event.  At a time when she clearly was hurting but not giving up I told her to think about Nathan Lux.  She simply said I am with a tear in her eye and then began to run.  What motivation this kid is!  I was so proud to take her picture on Main Street.  She didn’t want to stop and that says a lot about her dedication to go the distance.  I was most proud of her at the finishers area.  She had done it!  She didn’t finish the half marathon but she went the farthest distance ever in an event.  We about froze to death waiting for a bus to take us back to the resort.  Ya, I know it’s Florida and it never gets REALLY cold, but when your soaked through multiple layers of clothing in 30 degree temps with a brisk wind, it chills you to the bone.  You go put on 3 layers of clothes, jump in the shower and then go stand outside in 30 degree temps for a few hours.  Ya…now you are beginning to understand.  As Alex would say….it was kinda suckish!  The full marathon was pretty much a repeat of the half only no snow or sleet thank goodness.  It was still really cold at the start.  I knew I wanted to go at a slow but steady pace.  There wasn’t going to be any broken records today.  I just wanted to prove to myself I could make the 39.3 mile journey.  The race was a ton of fun with all the bands, characters and what not along the course.  Going through each of the parks was pretty cool as they served as progressive check points along the route for me.  Getting to the Magic Kingdom put me just under the half way mark.  That was cool.  It was my first park and I am almost half way there (or as Disney would say, I was almost two thirds of the way to completing the Goofy challenge…LOL!  Whatever you gotta tell yourself).  The trek to Animal Kingdom seemed to take the longest but was one of the most interesting segments since it wound through the back lot areas of the Disney property.  I found out that the recycle a ton of water…well actually many tons of water everyday to reuse in their irrigation systems.  That’s how they keep all those plants and flowers looking fresh.  Cool stuff!  Not only was this race fun but also educational…who knew!  Every time I felt like I couldn’t run any longer I’d see a TNTer or a cancer survivor with a “Never give up” type saying plastered on their back.  That really kept me going.  I thought about Nathan Lux on several occasions and had a great conversation with a guy who was running with his 30 year old son.  We talked about Nathan for a while along with all the awesome folks around us that kept us motivated to make the distance.  The route to Hollywood Studios was pretty much on highways so not much to see and the route was fairly straight, flat and long.  I met up with coach Jen around mile 21ish.  She has a way of making you go faster and farther than you really want to.  She’s awesome in that respect.  Once I got into Hollywood Studios it was like being at the finish…well almost there anyway.  We wound through some resort properties (Dolphin, Swan and Boardwalk resorts) and into Epcot. Now that’s when you know you are almost there.  I was tired and all the aches and pains started surfacing.  Jen kept me going though.  I stopped for the only pic I wanted to take of myself at the mile 26 marker.  Jen snapped a shot for me and on the finish we went.  I was tired and just wanted to get through the food lines and on to the bus line when I heard Leesa yelling my name.  I immediately had another wave of energy hit me.  It was awesome to know my wife and kids were there to see me cross the finish line.  What a great way to end a race.  I claimed my Mickey medal and then my Goofy medal and proceeded on to the line of shivering marathoners waiting for a bus ride.  Once back to our resort I did the necessary evil ice bath.  The odd thing is that I was shivering (I mean really shivering) in the cold bath water waiting for it to fill up and then once the 4 bags of ice were dump in I stopped shivering.  I guess my body went into total shock at that point.  It was weird.  Then I took a hot shower and crawled into bed for a few hours to warm up and get some rest.  I woke up that evening missing the family since they were enjoying the wonderful world of Disney.  I pulled myself out of bed and headed out to begin 3 more days of walking around the parks.  All in all I felt pretty good afterwards.  Oh it was painful for sure but at least I was still on two feet!

Now here I am a little over 3 weeks later and I feel more or less ok.  Still some lingering pains in the hips, knees and ankles but I am back on the training bandwagon.  Tahoe here I come with Redman later this year.  I hope to be a full Ironman finisher before I turn 40.



5 of 1,229 miles done!

By Leesa Gabel

I started training for my century ride today! Just 5 miles on the stationary bike at the gym.

Wait! What? Century ride? What’s that???

For those who haven’t heard…..Craig and I are doing it again!!! We’ve recommitted with the Leukemia & Lyphoma Society’s Team in Training and have signed on to do a 100+ mile bike ride. Our destination — Lake Tahoe this June!!!

I’m so freaking nervous about this!!

  1. I’ll be riding 112 miles in 1 day (Craig wants to tack on a few extra to get an Ironman distance….cause when you’re already biking 100…what’s another 12, right?!!)
  2. I’ve never ridden a bike on a busy street.
  3. I’ve never ridden in a large group.
  4. Did I mention it’s 100 miles on a bike?!?!?!

Craig has a new bike picked out for me. It’s a Trek. Lance Armstrong rides Trek…..and if it’s good enough for Lance, it’s good enough for me! hahahahaha I’m told that my barely ridden mountain bike will not be of much use to me during this event. I’m told I need a road bike. Ok. I’m just along for the ride….

One good thing is that Nathan Lux has agreed to be an Honor Patient for our team!! He’s going to be such an inspiration for everyone!!

Now that we’ve signed up….it’s time to get fundraising!!