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



Day 1

By Leesa Gabel

I started chemotherapy today.

It’s another clinical trial of oral chemo. Figured I’d help advance research for a cure since I needed chemo again.

I’m rather indifferent about it right at the moment. I didn’t have much choice really. No, that’s not right….I had treatment options….I did have choices. What I mean is a bigger picture of the entire situation. Sure I could have opted not to do anything; just ‘watch and wait’ as the cancer cells took over more of my healthy blood cells, caused me even more issues and then treat it. But that seemed a bit illogical to me. Wait for it to get worse? I don’t think so. I’d rather nip it in the bud now.

The 100-mile ride in June is what’s really on my mind right now. I’ve worked so hard to get where I am….hello!!…..75 miles completed on Sunday!!! Wouldn’t have thought I’d be doing that distance; let alone up at 5am the next morning for boot camp class!!!

It might take me all day, but I’m determined to  finish the 100 miles. Plus…the event is on June 6th which is also National Cancer Survivor’s Day….making the event even more special to me.

So I go into Day 1 of treatment with a positive attitude, a box of saltines and a 2-liter of Sprite at the ready. I know I’m not in this alone and when/if the time comes I know all I have to do is ask for help and I’ll have it. I want to keep life as normal as possible. Mostly for my own sanity, but also because of Alex and Ashlee. They took the news rather well, but I know it’s hard for them to know I have to do this again. Unfortunately, they understand what it means when chemo is needed.



75 Miles!!

By Leesa Gabel

Craig and I both completed 75 miles on our bikes on Sunday — he out on the road, me on the trainer (the reason why to follow).

It was a full weekend. Saturday’s Flapjack Breakfast was a good success. Craig and I are both very thankful to have had the help of our kids, my Mom and her BFF Janice, and Ryan and Josh, and two boys from our son’s Boy Scout Troop and a Girl Scout mom and her daughter. We couldn’t have done it without you!!!

And then it happened…..the thing that almost cancelled my ride……I was cooking a fabulous dinner and had just pulled the cast iron skillet out of the oven with a roasted pork loin in it. It was resting on the stovetop and I went to remove the meat so that Craig could carve it. I grabbed the handle to steady it….I grabbed it with my bare hand!!!! Long story short — it hurt and my left hand was useless. So the decision was made that I couldn’t go out on the road so Craig hooked up my bike to the trainer.

It took me 4 hours and 26 minutes to go 75 miles. That doesn’t account for the bathroom breaks, water and food breaks, or the times the kids needed something and I had to stop pedaling and get off the bike. I was only at 50 miles when Craig got home from his ride. I really wanted to quit, but he inspired me to continue on. Ok, inspired and guilted me….LOL!!

Doing 75 miles felt amazing!! It is the longest distance I’ve ever gone on a bike! Sure my hands feel asleep and my legs felt like jello, but those ailments went away by the morning. I woke up at 5am on Monday, ready to tackle Boot Camp!!

I know that I’ll be able to do 100 miles…..sure it’s going to take me forever and a day (or no less than 10 hours), but I’m going to do it!!!!



Flapjack Breakfast Fundraiser Tickets

By Leesa Gabel

This Saturday – April 24th – from 8-10am is our Flapjack Breakfast at Applebee’s!!

If you’ve seen our flyer or email it mentioned tickets. You are able to just pay at the door. The tickets are to help us get a headcount for Saturday so that Applebee’s has enough batter and people to flip the pancakes.

Drop us an email or leave a comment with the number of people you plan to bring on Saturday.

Thanks for your support!!!



Hitting the Wall

By Leesa Gabel

Per Wikipedia – “In endurance sports, particularly cycling and running, hitting the wall or the bonk describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, which manifests itself by precipitous fatigue and loss of energy. Milder instances can be remedied by brief rest and the ingestion of food or drinks containing carbohydrates. The condition can usually be avoided by ensuring that glycogen levels are high when the exercise begins, maintaining glycogen levels during exercise by eating or drinking carbohydrate-rich substances, or by reducing exercise intensity. Such fatigue can become seriously debilitating; in cycling, exhaustion can reach the point where the cyclist is unable to stand without the support provided by the bicycle. Symptoms of depletion include general weakness, fatigue, and manifestations of hypoglycemia, such as dizziness and even hallucinations. This dangerous condition will not be relieved by brief periods of rest.”

I hit my wall during Sunday’s ride. I think it was a combination of improper nutrition/hydration and not giving myself enough rest time prior to the ride. The only day I took off was last Sunday and that was after the 45-mile ride. All week I had boot camp and biking….20 miles on Thursday, up at 5am for boot camp and the kid’s school carnival on Friday, up early for the kid’s marathon on Saturday followed by 5 hours cheering good friends on along the full marathon course, and then up early to get in 65 miles on Sunday. I managed to get in 32 miles before I had to pull off the road and have Craig ride ahead to fetch the truck. I just couldn’t get my body to go any farther. I felt terrible — both physically and emotionally. I hate when my body won’t do what I want it to do. I was so frustrated with myself….for not finishing the entire 65 miles.

I’m utterly exhausted. Just plain wore out. I’m trying to rest a little more, but I know that I can’t afford to rest for too long. I’m seeing the miracle chiroprator tomorrow – Dr. Jesse Walden. I’m hoping he’ll be able to work out a few kinks I have…like a numb ring finger and pinkie on my left hand. I’m also researching more about proper nutrition and hydration during vigorous workouts….like my longer bike rides.

Biking is so different from running. I’m still learning and adjusting.



Can you hear me now?

By Craig Gabel

Okay, maybe it’s the wrong carrier but I thought it was a fitting title for this post. I hit the roads for my 20 mile ride yesterday. I started off the ride already a bit tired but once I got rolling I felt better. I get a little over a mile out and pass a silicone phone case in the road and then a few feet later an iPhone….that was ringing. I stopped a few feet later. I set my bike down and walked back to pick up someone’s lost life. I know I keep my life on my phone. I did immediately get asked if I was ok by a passerby so that was refreshing to know there are folks out there looking out for us cyclists. The iPhone was locked with a pass code so there was no getting into it at that point. I shoved it in my cycling shirt pocket and kept continued on my course. While riding I had many thoughts… Who’s phone could it be, how the heck did it end up in the bike lane on a semi-busy road, how will I crack the pass code to find the owners info, maybe I’ll dig into this phone a bit to see how it works….I mean c’mon it is the competitions hardware, this was a unique opportunity. I can say I only personally know a couple people who even have iPhones so I really haven’t had much hands on experience. This was an opportunity to learn something and get some competitive ammo. At that moment the bad karma kicked in as a car came whizzing by me with in inches of her mirror hitting my handle bars. She apparently was distracted with something (probably a phone) since our eyes locked in her rear view and I gave her some choice words in my head and she had a look of OMG that was close. I am sure my body language got my feelings across…and no I did not tell her see was number 1 even though it may have been warranted under the circumstance. So then my mind was totally off getting any technical advantage from this handset and was purely focused on ensuring my livelihood would continue through this training session. So once I got calmed back down and was focusing on my riding technique, the iPhone rings…of course it’s just as I am going up a decent size hill. I let it roll off to voicemail because there was no way I was stopping. Then a few minutes later it rings again, I answer it since I was on a flat. I hear someone on the other end asking if I found a phone….uhhh duh. I said “yes I did” and asked if he lost a phone. He said “no but my brother-in-law did”. So long story short, he set his black phone with a black cover on the hood of his black truck, he got in a drove away and it fell off in the middle of the road. I got the phone back to its rightful owner and he was very appreciative. Not sure of the entire story but that was his second iPhone within 24 hours. The first one was run over by a car in the phone provider’s parking lot. I almost gave him the advice to give up on owning a mobile phone or at least get a pink cover so he wouldn’t loose it in the camouflage jungle on his hood but figured he had already had a crazy enough experience with his phone. I continued on but was really tired at that point. Coming up a fairly big hill on the route really brought me down. Then I saw Nathan Lux’s armband I have attached to my handlebars. Seeing his name brought me new found strength. This kid is going through so much to fight for his life. There was no way I could just give up. I cranked for a while and then started having thoughts of cutting my ride via a shorter route. I again looked down and saw Nathan’s name. There no way I can cut this one short. Nathan doesn’t have the option of cutting his pain short. It’s all or nothing. I then thought about all the stories Nathan has shared and the joy to his life that the elusive iPhone has brought him. I think about all the things that Nathan has taught all of us including being an over achiever cub scout. His determination to earn all the Cub Scout achievements influenced me enough to push all the boys in my den to do the same. I then thought about the good turn I had just done in getting the lost iPhone back to it rightful owner. That’s the Boy Scout motto. It was a good workout and very inspiring ride.



Solo rides

By Leesa Gabel

Craig and I weren’t able to ride together yesterday. But after his solo ride, I’m glad I went earlier in the day.

Although it was mucho windy, it was a beautiful day outside — my arms and nose got a little color! When I ride solo I like to go on trails — I’m still not used to riding on city streets. So I drove over to my preferred starting spot. There are bathrooms and route options. I go south and I have a granny-gear hill to go up, but that also means I get to zip back down it. I go north and I have flats and rolling hills. Put them together and it’s a great course and I get lots of shifting practice. Plus, the park-like setting is very scenic.

Craig on the other hand had a far different ride experience yesterday. A storm was rolling in, but moving north and was clear to the south. So he went south. Murphy’s Law prevailed because the storm shifted and started to come in from the south. The sky opened up at our house — lightening, hail, pelting rain — but was still somewhat clear where Craig was. But I knew he’d have to ride back into the bad weather. And then my phone rang — it was Craig asking about the weather. Jump forward…the kids and I jumped in the truck to meet Craig. We met him as he hit mile 15. It was dark enough out due to clouds that headlights were on. Good thing Saturday’s 55-mile ride started in the dark and we had lights on our bikes. I followed behind him for a bit. There was a hugh streak of lightening and crack of thunder, that’s when Craig pulled over and racked his bike on the back of the truck.

Entirely different experiences, but we both had a great ride!!



I can’t ride 55

By Leesa Gabel

Sorry, I’ve been listening to Van Halen and Sammy Hagar’s I Can’t Drive 55 came to mind when I started writing this post.

Saturday was our longest ride yet – 55 miles!! It was our first ‘perfect’ weather day. The sun was shining, the skies were blue, there was only a slight breeze and the temps rose fast. Finally — great Spring weather!!

I felt good from the start. No complaints. I was even keeping up with a large group. We did fall behind a bit because I had to use the bathroom….found a port-a-potty at a park. Had I just waited another 2 miles or so, I could have used a QT bathroom!! Back out on the course, there were a few roller hills, but nothing to extreme. Of course I did speak too soon…..

I came up on a hill and just lost all my steam. I hadn’t been fueling (eating/drinking) properly and just couldn’t make my legs pedal. So I pulled over to the curb….and proceeded to have my first fall. At least it was on soft grass. I walked it up to the top where Craig was patiently waiting. I ate.

We continued on. I still didn’t feel quite right. So we stopped again and I ate and drank more. My energy came back…finally. Back on the bike.

Coach Jen was with us now, the back of the pack people. She made Craig go on ahead. I really do appreciate that he goes my pace, but he needs to push it because he is training for a full Ironman as well. And this is where the story goes bad…..

I was at or over the 40-mile mark on the ride. I had come to a very busy intersection with two other riders. We had the green light to turn left. I decided to fall over instead. Right there in the middle of the intersection with cars all around and a big truck behind me waiting to turn left!! I jumped back up, ran my bike across to the other side and used the sidewalk until I was off the uber-busy street. After the adrenalin wore off I realized that I hurt my right arm. I couldn’t put much weight on my wrist without a shooting pain up to my elbow. So at mile 45, I put my bike in the back of Coach Keith’s truck and rode back to our starting point.

I was just 10 miles shy of 55…..not too shabby!! Craig got in his 55!!

Today I went to Boot Camp and was able to squeak in a few pushups before the pain came back. I think it’s just bruised. I’ve got 20 miles to ride tomorrow….I’ll let you know how I feel afterwards.