Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Gear up Girl

A few weeks ago , a facebook post offered the chance to be a brand Warrior for Gear up Girl.
So I applied.

If you have been following along with my latest passion - cycling - adventures . The biggest being 700km (of 1000km) charity ride the first week of October for TourDe Oroc . Then a 56km day ride to finish with Zoo 2 Zoo, and riding a bike leg in my first Triathlon  - it's being EPIC.

Imagine my surprise and exhilaration when I opened this email yesterday.

Heart Foundation Gear Up Girl is proud to announce that YOU have been selected as an ambassador for the 2018 event!
After 3,000 applications you have been specifically chosen for your love of cycling and how it has played a major role in your life.  You will be a fantastic role model for women everywhere and we can't wait to have you on board!
I  don't get any financial payment though I will get to my entry and opportunity to attend the event as a VIP and maybe some kit.
Save the Date - - March 11th 2018

It's also the privilege of being an ambassador to encourage women in healthy lifestyles and fitness.
Extremely important to me as it reduces the risk of heart disease (and all cancers). It also reduces the risk of recurrence in breast cancer and the further risk being in early menopause puts me at for HEART DISEASE.
  • Riding a bike is a great way for people of all ages and of all levels of fitness to get active and keep healthy.
  • Regular exercise is really important to keep our bodies and minds healthy. It’s essential for heart health.
Gear Up Girl is a 'vehicle' for creating a community of women to support each other as they endeavour to live lifestyles of health and fitness. We want to grow women’s cycling and we want you to help us create a welcoming environment to help grow the sport and the Heart Foundation Gear Up Girl. 

There are Four rides to choose from and chldren can get involved too, subject to certain conditions.

I am leaning towards the 80km Challenge ride

Here is my code so you can get a 10% discount when you sign up to #ridewithme  


I am so excited to be associated with a group of encouraging and inspiring women and have the satisfaction of knowing that together we may have made a difference in someone else’s life.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

I'd rather sit on my butt all day

I lot of people said I was crazy.
Well padded lycra pants and hundreds of kilometres of road would not deter .
The urge to cycle 1000kms 658kms in six days through Outback NSW !

The journey began in Mudgee, out to Dunedoo and Gilgandra; up to Coonamble and then Walgett; across to Brewarrina ; Bourke; before heading back down to Nyngan; before the final day saw the peloton cycle through Trangie, Narromine and back to Dubbo.

After Cancer (twice) I have learned to dig deep and take chances, the hell with everything.

Be strong, be fearless, be prepared to step out of your comfort zone. Then believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.

I knew I wouldn't manage the whole 1000kms or so , but I did the best I could with 5 weeks training.

It was a fully supported ride , with three backup vehicles (thanks Toyota) ; Lead and Tail safety warning cars who travelled at snail pace (for a car 25-35kms per hour) . All accommodation and meals were covered. So much food. Country town hospitality was fabulous with many lunches and home cooked dinners provided or meals in the local pub.

Only night we had to camp out in the Showground and our local Police brought out the Swags on a 4hr drive

After a long day's ride only.

Rest breaks were every 33kms or so and anywhere.

Despite a few bruises, chaffing and scrapes I enjoyed it beyond measure. I was counting every cm km and my Garmin was always on ! Unless I forgot to re- start it !!

Anticipating a pace of 25km per hour - I soon learned it was actually more like 28-32kms per hour and even up to 34.9kms on the flats .The first day had so many hills. Other riders helped me up hills with a hand on my back. Sometimes two of them at once.I was one of four women, the only one who needed a push.

Then it was 'flat out' till day 6. The roadkill stench was awful .

I won an award (T-shirt) for my OFF ROAD pursuits ...taking a detour down an embankment - and had lots of 'colours' to show for it.

Starting as a very inexperienced rider with little group riding experience - the #peloton saved my @$$. When I needed a break  - I kept the Leading or Tail vehicles' driver company for a spell each day.

Yesterday, I was so glad to arrive HOME - riding 144kms exactly of 166kms for Tour De Oroc. day 6 Nyngan to Dubbo.

It was my biggest physical challenge ever and I'm very grateful for the OROC team who gave me so much encouragement and support. They knew my limitations and helped me get across the line.
A doctor, nurse, solicitors, accountants, RFDS pilot, farmer, former Mayor, Bank manager and several others were in the peloton aged 29yrs to maybe 70+.

The cause was Macquarie Home Stay - $115,000 was raised.

Macquarie Home Stay is your home away from home when you need to come to Dubbo to seek medical treatment at Dubbo Hospital. Established by a group of community members who saw the need for low cost but not low quality, affordable accommodation to be provided, it ensures the cost of accommodation is not a hindrance to seeking treatment when you have to attend Dubbo Hospital.

Day 6 was my longest ride ever on a bike 144kms. Matthew Keenan Sports commentator and cyclist joined us for Day 6 . Matt regularly forms part of the international commentary team at the Tour de France being broadcast around the world and multiple other functions. He gave a great motivational speech Night - Day 5.

It was all over like that. Not, just the beginning.
Home sweet home.
Pizza was inhaled , then a splash of wine while soaking in a long a radox bath. 


100% doing it again

The Great Cycle Challenge going through October was also on my list to ride for Children's Cancer research.

I REALLY wanted to get back on the bike today - except for the much needed rain. I would be.
Outback NSW was bone dry. The rain is a blessing.

I'm currently ranked 5th for number of kilometres ridden in NSW - though my fellow 14-15 Orocers certainly TOP the entire list.

By the way - I need $120 to reach my goal. Everything counts and $5 fiver is perfect.

Honestly, it was a privilege to ride with my fellow Orocers on the 3rd epic Tour De Oroc ride.
The way everyone looked after each other (especially me) was fantastic and the support crew did such an amazing job.

Albert Einstein.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

It's not unusual

Lately, I was having issues trying to run a bit faster at parkrun - just a little leaking … especially when I ran on the treadmill .
It made me want to cry too.

Even just coughing, sneezing, jumping at the gym and laughing (once it ended badly when my husband and two boys and all our suitcases toppled at the bottom of the escalator). Lucky it was a short shuffle to the ladies with my suitcase.

Was it my age, multiple birth pregnancy or hormones or stress incontinence or ALL of the above ?
Chemo put me in early menopause at 46 and I had a hysterectomy 2 years ago.

The trampoline ? well it’s been as issue since the twins had their first bounce … on my bladder.

They got their trampoline at 22 months and I’ve never had a dry jump.

I wasn’t sure about doing Pelvic floor aka Kegel's exercises correctly. I didn’t get it. I had been putting off seeing a professional about my incontinence for months – since I saw a sign in the gym.

Surreptitiously, I kept noticing I wasn’t alone, just glancing in trolleys at the supermarket and a few comments in groups.

Incontinence is more common than we think, affecting 1 in 3 women (of all ages) - a little bit of wee will escape and we feel mortified.

So in early August I made an appointment. After seeing a women's physio I now feel more confident about addressing my issues in the correct way. Every day.

I actually 'knew' the women’s physio recommended to me by a lady from our running group. She was a mum from our Church – awkward - but no topic seems to be taboo anymore after cancer ,nor baring my all to all and sundry when I had infertility treatment.

The appointment started with questions about my births (stillbirth and twins), toileting habits, sex-life, urgency (like when I put the key in the door) and the frequency of incontinence itself.

The internal examination followed –consisting of the physio looking at the opening of my vagina, me practising pelvic floor exercises (pathetically) around her fingers, her feeling the walls of my vagina and a silicon probe attached to a device that measured strength.

All of which I’d experienced before during pap smears, IVF fertility treatment, pregnancy – nowhere near as unpleasant as a pap though.

Basically, because I’ve been slack, I have a weak pelvic floor and a bit of scarring which I wasn’t aware of from the hysterectomy.

The solution is to build up the strength in my 'muscles' with consistent pelvic floor exercises … lots of controlled contractions and releases . Your glutes should not be doing all the work.

It’s a work in progress and will take 3-6 months. A had a followup appopintment (with some improvement) 2 weeks ago.

My next appointment is in December.

I found this infographic very helpful.

Don't wait to get it sorted!

It's less embarrassing than actually peeing your pants in public.

Are you doing your pelvic floor exercises while reading this?

In collaboration with TENA because it's such an important message.
I'm donating my fee to my fundraising for the Great Cycle Challenge.