Sunday, September 07, 2008

17 miles!

I don't think I've felt this proud of myself since I pulled enough Fran¨ais out of my bee-hind to have a lucid conversation with a clerk in a camera shop in France.

But THIS is a different kind of pride - mostly physical - but also emotional and even spiritual. I feel like I could do anything.

I got up at 6:45 and left the house at 7:30, checking the weather on the way out and hoping the rain would hold off. I was SO nervous, butterflies all over every internal organ, feeling giddy and silly and a little scared.

I rode the 2 miles to St. Thomas, met up with my friend Amy (the baker of my amazing birthday cheesecake) and after registering and buying a new helmet [on sale!] and biking gloves [purely a vanity purchase] I am SO hotsy totsy looking, baby!

It's actually a pretty easy course, lots of downhill and coasting. Amy and I chatted the whole way - she's very athletic and could have done the course in half the time it took me - but she very kindly stayed with me, making it a more fun experience.

It's humid enough today that my breathing sucked eggs, so on several hills I had to get up and push the bike (I did take advantage of every rest stop, Janice, and that made all the difference!)

Yesterday it was much drier, I have a feeling yesterday I could have done it with less wheezing and puffing, but the coming rain kept the morning so beautiful and cool.

And WHAT beauty! The Mississippi river, glimpses of it between trees, was dark and smooth. I saw kayakers and fishers, everyone enjoying an unexpectedly lovely Sunday morning.

Past the Science Center I had to get off and walk again, stupid breathing. Finally I was back on my bike just in time to ride past my pulmonologist's office, Hey Doc!

Ramsey Hill was a bear, but Amy was waiting for me at the top, at another rest stop, with water and baked goods and music.

The rest stops were so wonderful - SO welcomed - and made the whole thing feel like a party!

The last 3 miles down Summit were familiar territory, my own turf, and who should be waiting for me at Lex and Summit but Gerry and Hannah, taking pictures and cheering me on!

One last incline at Sydicate, then downhill the rest of the way. I called Gerry and he picked me up as the rain was just beginning to fall, and I was too exhausted to ride all that way uphill.

Now I'm home, showered, and relaxing while I watch Thomas a Becket meet his grisly end on TMC. If he had a bike, he could have gotten away.

Pictures tomorrow, I'm too tired and too busy basking to dowload them from my cell phone right now.

As great as my bike ride was, the REAL excitement was happening down in Marietta with my cousin. Here's the message from Jan that was waiting for me when I woke up from a nap:
I've had a very busy day, the physical therapist came in and asked me how long it had been since I sat on the edge of the bed and I said, "Oh, at least 6 weeks..."

So he got my back brace on me and... I sat on the edge of the bed for 11 minutes!

For the first 5 minutes I just bawled, it had been so long since anyone had worked with me and got me to do anything. It was a really nice experience, everyone was crying..."
Yes, I rode 17 miles today, and it was exciting, but I don't think it matches the excitement of actually looking out a window - not flat on your back - but sitting up for the first time in 6 weeks.

Jan's spine has pockets of cancer, and her muscles are weak. The back brace helps immensely, but nothing beats the feeling of support she got from her PT guy today.

I'm so grateful to him, and so proud of her I could burst!


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posted by Annie at


Blogger evie said...

Go Girl!

September 07, 2008 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew you could do it!! And in style too!!I am proud of you. Ruth Ann

September 07, 2008 1:05 PM  
Blogger margit said...

Keep up the good work!

September 07, 2008 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Paula said...

Congratulations ... what an accomplishment ! Not only a great fiber artist and incredible brain but stamina and grit and determination to acheive a physical victory ! Hoorah for you ... have you had a beer yet ?

September 07, 2008 1:56 PM  
Anonymous twinsetellen said...


September 07, 2008 2:01 PM  
Blogger quinn said...

Good for you, Annie! There's nothing better than "personal best" is there? Will be looking forward to the pix :)

September 07, 2008 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi there miss annie:) i was thinking about u & ur bike ( 15 miles planned)
u did it!
YEA for u!!!
(from the old knit room)

September 07, 2008 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, congratulations!

My back and elbows ache just thinking about riding a bike, but I think it's a great way to get around for those who can tolerate it!

September 07, 2008 4:00 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Congratulations, Annie! You are a cycling star.

September 07, 2008 4:34 PM  
Blogger woolywoman said...

Good for you!

September 07, 2008 4:47 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

I'm kvelling - I'm so very proud of you, Annie. Can't wait for the pictures.

September 07, 2008 4:49 PM  
Anonymous Carolyn said...

Good for you Annie! That is so great! I'm so proud of you.

Take care,

September 07, 2008 5:08 PM  
Blogger susanc said...

You should be proud of yourself - you go girl!!! Congratulations! (I was sure you'd do just great.)

September 07, 2008 5:17 PM  
Blogger Ludmilla said...

ooh. Bring your bike to Ohio! You will be teaching classes at the top of the hill from one of the prettiest MetroParks in the area. I'm inviting you for an easy ride. (I could even check around for a place that rents bikes, if you'd like.) Anyway, looking forward to your class and meeting you.

September 07, 2008 5:47 PM  
Blogger Northside Knitter said...


You are inspiration to us all. I DON'T have COPD so there is no excuse for my not getting myself in shape enough to ride a bike even 1/2 the distance that you did today. Thanks for being such a great role model. Enjoy the rest of the day!

San Jose, CA

September 07, 2008 6:18 PM  
Blogger Janice in GA said...

And the crowd goes wild, shouting "Hooray! Huzzah!"

We knew you could do it!

September 07, 2008 6:51 PM  
Anonymous penny said...

Yay!! Both you **AND** Jan!!

September 07, 2008 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and your cousin, Jan! How wonderful that you both made milestones on the same day.

Mary G. in Texas

September 07, 2008 8:51 PM  
Anonymous MicheleLB said...

Hooray for you! And for Jan. That is wonderful that someone took the time to work with her. Six weeks? Wow.

September 07, 2008 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Roz said...

Jan's accomplishment is so life-affirming -- yours is too, but Jan's just kicks butt! Kudos to both of you!

September 08, 2008 9:14 AM  
Anonymous danielle said...

Congratulations on the mileage! And Ramsey Hill is nothing to sniffle at.

I would suggest that the biking gloves are NOT a purely vanity purchase. Eventually you'll find that the cushioning helps even just a little and then you'll not be able to do without.

September 08, 2008 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad that you wrote this. I am a physical therapist and I have had a rough couple of weeks at my job. I am so glad that this one particular PT helped Jan but it even made me feel better about the small successes of my job!

Thank you and keep working, Jan.

And thank you for your blog, Annie.


September 09, 2008 7:10 PM  
Anonymous Tish said...

Congratulations Annie! I drove ~5hrs to Aspen, CO Friday night with my youngest (7-1/2) and 2 oldest (23 & 25) daughters and #2 daughter's friend to cheer on #2 daughter as she rode a 64mi Ride for the Cure. She was a little worried about the hills and the distance but we lost my mom to breast cancer 19yrs ago and #2 daughter currently works as a breast cancer researcher- her lab sponsored her- so she was determined to do this (she tied a pink headscarf that my mom used to wear- Mom hated wigs- to her handlebar for luck). She was one of the first finishers and is planning to do the 100mi next year! As there are also shorter distances, we may make it a family affair. Better dust off my bike!

September 09, 2008 7:27 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Aren't rides a ton of fun? The shortest around here, that I can go to, are of the 30-mile (and 60, and 100...) variety, and I absolutely love them. The tshirts, the scenery, the feeling of's just so much fun. Good for you! I'm so glad you found this side of the sport, cause it's a blast.

September 10, 2008 8:35 AM  

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