Prancercise, Part Deux.


Girlfriend is back. And I am elated.

And after the shit ass Monday I had, I couldn’t have been happier to see her sassy prancey self. Why is it that the day back from a fantastic, sun drenched, do-good vacation, you wind up getting shanked the moment you set one tan paw back into work? Thank heavens for The Prancercise Lady (née Joanna Rorhback). She’s back with a new vid. And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. In case you’re NOT one of the 10,000,000+ individuals who peeped her first YouTube video, I’ll enlighten you. What is Prancercise you ask?

Prancercise® is defined as: A springy, rhythmic way of moving forward,similar to a horse’s gait and ideally induced by elation. “This form of movement, along with dietary and spiritual principles can create the most satisfying, holistic and successful fitness program one could hope to experience. I encourage anyone who is ready for a huge change in their lives, from the way they see the world, to the way they see themselves to explore the principles inherent in this program, especially as outlined in my book : Prancercise®:The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence.”

Joanna Rohrback, B.H.S. Owner/MGR.M of Prancercise LLC

Move like a springy, elated horse?!?!? Sign. Me. Up. Maybe my trail running would improve if I embodied the Principles of Prancercise. I’d better get on it. The VT50 is mere WEEKS away. 50k in 50 days. {Fans self with iPad.} And not for nothing, BRAVO to the Prancercise Lady for putting it out there. She’s moving alright! Like a goddamn philly!

I wish I had seen this video earlier. I woulda just Prancercised Monday away.

How was your Monday? Thoughts on Prancercise? Have you gotten shanked your first day back from vacation?

I’d Like to Thank the Academy…


As I start writing thank-you notes to my sponsors for the PMC, I can’t help but think of all of the other people that deserve my thanks for helping me complete the ride. A ride like this definitely takes a village, and, in addition to my wonderful and generous sponsors, I want to take a moment to thank some of my fellow villagers….

1. The PMC Organizers, for putting together such an amazing and well-organized event. I remain in awe at how they are able to put together such a large-scale event so seamlessly. The Sturbridge-Provincetown route alone requires 3 separate athletes’ villages, 9 different water stops and ongoing road assistance along the entire 190 mile route. All of it was well-run and organized. The logistics crew at Sochi should have given them a buzz prior to the 2014 Olympics. Seriously.

2. The PMC Volunteers, for helping to make everything run so smoothly, for anticipating our every need and fulfilling ones we didn’t even realize we had. There was even a gentleman at one water stop who was wiping off rain-spattered glasses for people. Each of these unpaid volunteers spent hours in a freezing rain, providing services with the dedication of a 5-star hotel manager and the smile of an angel.

3. The PMC Road Crew that Fixed my Flat Tire at Mile 8. And the rider behind me who pointed it out to me as soon as it happened, so I could pull over carefully and safely. Yes, Day 1 got off to a rough start for me in ways that didn’t involve the bad weather. Fortunately, I wasn’t going that fast when my tire blew, and it was a relatively easy fix.

4. The Police Officer at Mile 8 who Rode His Motorcycle to Flag Down the PMC Road Crew that Fixed My Flat Tire at Mile 8. PMC Road Crews patrol the entire route, but depending on where you are, it can be a wait before one arrives. I am so grateful to the police officer who saw me by the side of the road and rode back up the route to find a road crew to come help me. I had already been waiting a little bit and was getting colder and wetter and colder by the minute…

5. The PMC Road Crew that Fixed my Broken Brake at Mile 9. Ugh…I went less than a mile after having my tire fixed before the cable on my rear brake popped out. On a big, scary, wet downhill (Holee Crap! I hope my blood pressure returns to normal sometime this calendar year). Fortunately, a PMC Road Crew was just around the corner and had me back on the road in no time.

6. Chrissy. Angel Chrissy, who waited in the rain at the first water stop for an extra 40 minutes after the rest of my group left to make sure I got there ok. My two mishaps had set me waaaaay back from the pack, and I didn’t think anyone would be left at the water stop when I got there. I teared up when I saw Chrissy waiting and waving at the entrance. The second I dismounted, she ran over and gave me a huge hug, which is exactly what I needed at that moment. Chrissy is the person who got everyone in our group involved in the PMC and she remains a ballast for all of us during the event. It doesn’t matter if she is pregnant, busy with babies, busy with toddlers, working, studying – no matter what is going on in her life, if she can’t ride in the PMC, she is there to meet us and cheer us on at the opening event and at the first water stop. She’s a wonderful person and such an incredible, steady source of support.

7. Dawn. I knew that Dawn, Colby’s high school friend, was coming to the lunch stop, and could not wait to meet her. I was afraid that my setbacks in the morning might mean that I would miss her, though, so I broke some land-speed records (ok, at least my own land speed records, which are not that impressive, but still) pedaling my heart out to get there in time. Thank you, Dawn, for giving me a short-term goal to keep me moving and for letting me see what I can do on the bike when I’m properly motivated. And it was so great to meet you!!!

8. The Spectators. It continues to amaze me how many people come out to cheer us on. It makes such a difference to have the cheers along the route, and I am so grateful to each of you for taking time out of your summer weekend to support us.

9. My Brother, Michael, for beating the crap out of me on an almost-daily basis when I was a kid. It was great mental and physical preparation for riding 110 miles in a cold rain. Don’t think I could have done it without you. Thank you also for growing up to be one of the nicest, gentlest adults I know.

10. My Kids, for insisting that we buy a super-warm sleeping bag even though “camping” for us is staying in a hotel with no room service (I don’t do The Great Outdoors. Colby is our resident trail runner. I’d rather run an ultra through rush hour traffic in NYC. Dodging cars, muggers and exhaust? Not a problem. Just keep me away from bugs, critters and rash-causing plants. ). I packed the super-warm sleeping bag for the overnight between Day 1 and Day 2 and wrapped up in it for a long while after finishing the Day 1 ride. It helped bring circulation back to my freezing extremities, color to my face, and probably kept me from developing hypothermia (only a slight exaggeration).

11. Colby, who, after seeing my blue lips and white hands and feet INSISTED that I hop in the shower first to warm up, even though she was soaked and freezing as well. Now, THAT’S a true friend.

12. Mother Nature, for getting her act together for Day 2 and giving us cool and cloudy, with only a slight drizzle here and there. Because seriously, I don’t think we could take another soaking, freezing day like Day 1. Well, of course we would have done a repeat of Day 1 if we had to. But I’m sure glad we didn’t have to.

13. The People Whose Names I Wore on My Shirt. Because when the going got tough, I thought of each and every one of you, and the battles you have faced with such courage, and I felt a burst of awe, love, pride, inspiration, perspective and much-needed adrenaline. And knew I could finish, no matter what came my way. I knew the rain would eventually go away. Just as, I hope, someday cancer will.


A Decade of Riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge. A Lifetime of Lessons Learned.

A week ago I rode My Cancer Fighting Bike, in my 10th consecutive Pan-Massachusetts Challenge. Ten years. In a row. I am proud of that. Very proud.

Not proud that I have ridden thousands of miles.

Not proud of the training endured each and every year.

Not proud of hooking up My Bike to the trainer and spinning in the living room because it was too dark to get a decent ride in after a long day at work.

It’s not about the athletic achievement. Strange, but true.

The PMC is not about Me.
And that’s the beauty of it.

In the 10 years I have ridden, I have learned more about the human spirit than I ever thought possible. I have learned that people are at their very best when they’re doing something selfless.

And that is beautiful.

I have learned how riding in the PMC means more to the 100s upon 100s of people lining the streets along the route, than it ever will to me. And that’s saying a lot. Strangers. Clapping and cheering. And thanking me. Thanking ME. Over and over. In the pouring rain. In the extreme heat. Over and over. Thank you. Every year for 10 years. Some of the faces are the same. Some are new. All are grateful.

I am here, because of you.

To hear that. To see the look on their face, as they tell you that. Thanking you. With their whole heart. Sincere. Genuine. Pure. It means everything. Everything all at once. And it continues to overwhelm me. Year after year.

Here’s the thing: I believe them. We are making a difference. A real, life-saving, cancer fighting difference. They are living proof.

I have learned that the most generous of people are the ones you barely know. But who know you. And believe in what you are doing. They move me to the core.

I have learned that people who volunteer their time at the PMC have a tougher job than any cyclist riding. They are kind, patient individuals who smile with their heart. Angels. All of them.

I have learned that the smallest of gestures, gestures requiring the most minimal of time, are the most profound. A kind word. A ribbon remembering a loved one, honoring their fight. A quick note saying, “I will be thinking of you this weekend” means the world to people. Find the time. You are not that busy. It’s worth it.

I am proud to be a part of the Pan-Mass Community. So proud. It has become a part of who I am. It has woven itself into the very fabric of my being. I feel like for one weekend a year, I am a part of something great. Really great. Impactful. To be surrounded by people doing the same is inspiring beyond words. I am finding, as the years go by, that the PMC feeling stays with me longer and longer each year. It changes your perspective. Your focus becomes on what is truly important in life. And isn’t that wonderful?

The PMC isn’t about me. But by accident, I have become a better human being because of it.

Here’s to the next 10 years.



The Post Pan-Mass Challenge Blues are settling in. Funny how that happens every year. It’s like I want to harness every feeling, every selfless moment and bottle it up to occasionally huff from throughout the year. All I’d need is a whiff of the PMC experience to put life all in perspective. Get some clarity. Remember what’s important.

As Tina pointed out, there is a Secret of the PMC. I loved her post. You can read it here. We had such an amazing experience. She certainly captured the PMC’s essence. I love that she and I do this together. I’ll write about my 10th PMC experience later this week. I’m lettin’ it all soak in.

Right now? My Other Half and I are firmly planted on a beautiful beach in Wellfleet, recovering from a nice, hot, hilly run (Me) and insane intervals on the bike (Him). Sporty Couple Alert! It’s Beach Blogging Bingo all up in here! I’m cracking up. I’m also giving my lunchtime burrito the stink eye. And my sunblock. And my new Runner’s World. I’ve got relaxing to do, People. So for now, here’s Colby’s Morning in Wellfleet. From Farmer’s Market to morning run, a beautiful day in Wellfleet.

Bring on the rest of our vacation!

Unplugging in 3-2-1….. :-)
















The Secret of the Pan Mass Challenge

Well, now I guess we can call it the worst kept secret of the Pan Mass Challenge: The riders get as much – or more – out of it as anyone else.

Yeah, you read that right. 190 miles in the saddle. Sore backs, sore legs, tense arms, and sore rear ends (that all the chamois butter in the world can’t soothe). Callouses, blisters, chafing, swelling and abrasions. Some years, a flirtation with heatstroke (not 2014). Miles under a relentless sun (also not 2014). Others, a battle with torrential rain and a brush with hypothermia (Ding! Ding! Ding! That would be PMC 2014!).

But none of it matters. None of it.

Because for two days, for the small price of the above, you get to see the best – THE ABSOLUTE BEST – that humanity has to offer. I guess (though doubt) that it is possible that the people who ride in and volunteer at the PMC might be absolute jerks for the other 363 days of the year, but for those two golden days, they are: Selfless. Loving. Reflective. Caring. Friendly. Emotional. Open. Thoughtful. Committed.

And it doesn’t stop with those who are directly affiliated with the PMC. All along the 190 mile route, there are people who come out to support the riders.

At 6 AM.

Through late afternoon.

With cowbells, kazoos, bullhorns, Gatorade, water, bubbles, costumes, bagpipes, percussion bands, food, lollipops, twizzlers, pompoms, music, signs and words of support. And Thanks. So, so many thanks.

I saw people standing in the pouring – AND I MEAN POURING – rain along some roads on Day 1 just to point out potholes to riders so they could avoid them. And in the last miles of the Day 1 route – when the going had gotten tough, and in many ways, stayed tough, for miles and miles and miles, what did I see? A man, standing in the pouring rain – no hat, no umbrella – saluting the riders as they passed. Just standing there, rain pouring over him, with a perpetual salute. I didn’t pedal that last stretch to mile 110 on Saturday. No.  I floated those last few miles, on air and a limitless supply of tears.

So that is the real secret of the Pan Mass Challenge. For the price of some discomfort, you are given the opportunity to live in a loving, caring supportive world for two days. To see what life is truly like when people come together for a common cause and forget about themselves for a little while. Such a small, small price to pay for such an amazing experience.

It’s no wonder that riders and volunteers come back. Year after year.

It’s no wonder that almost every picture from the PMC shows a rider or volunteer with a smile on their face.

Between the 5500+ riders, the 3000+ volunteers and then the countless supporters along the route, you realize two very important – and uplifting – things that stick with you long after the muscles have recovered, the wounds have healed, and the soreness is a distant memory.

One: There is still a lot of love and caring in this world. There is still so much good that people have – and want – to offer, even though we can’t always see it.

Two: we’re all in this together.

It might take time – it will take time – but with commitment like this?

Cancer Doesn’t Stand a Chance.

31 Reasons

The race is not to the swift, but to those who keep on running…

In 2 days time, Tina and I will embark on a cancer fighting odyssey across the state of Massachusetts- The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge. I simply can’t wait. It’s my favorite weekend of the year. Always has been. A beautiful, selfless weekend. That’s the best kind of weekend if you ask me.

Tonight, as has become a 10 year tradition, I made ribbons, together with my Mom, honoring those who have lived strong and those who, in the face of cancer, continue to do so every day. They will ride with me this weekend. I will carry them on my back. Each mile, every pedal stroke we’ll ride as one.

Each year my list grows.
And grows.
As the ages get younger.
And younger.

My heart just breaks.
Into 31 pieces.

This is why I ride.


Salted Watermelon WHAT?

Me, rehearsing my order: “I’ll have one delicious, creamy, luscious, yummy ice cream cone, please.”

{Glances at the longest and slowest moving line in the history of lines.}

Me, suddenly hysterical: “I DON’T HAVE 3 HOURS! WHY!?! WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME!?!?!?”

{Throws tired sweaty self into a bale of hay and wails.}

And my efforts to obtain a delectable ice cream cone at the half way point of My Last Long Pan Massachusetts Challenge training ride the other day? THWARTED. Unless I wanted to pitch a tent, lean my bike against a cow, and hunker down for the ‘scream in 2 days time, I had to get my mid-ride fuel from another source. Like my sweaty jersey pocket. Instead of the beautiful, sunflower filled farm that makes their own ice cream. Gah. Such is life.

Enter this weird little beauty.

Salted Watermelon Gu

Meet Salted Watermelon Gu. Hello, Gorgeous!

Unbeknownst to me, a bunch of runners voted in a GUMOCRACY campaign to select a new GU flavor. I don’t even know what that means. But it sounds fantastic! Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series and GU Energy Labs paired up and announced the first “Official GU Flavor of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon” back in March. Uh. Where the hell was I?! I don’t know how I missed the memo because I woulda been ALL OVER THIS FLAVOR. Thank goodness I found it!

GU developed three new flavors for the campaign – Salted Watermelon, Apple Cinnamon and Caramel Macchiato.  THEY’RE HOLDING OUT ON US!  Salted Watermelon GU Energy Gel was crowned the winner. I discovered the Salted Watermelon GU last Friday at my local bike shop and snatched it up. I’ll be honest. They had me at “watermelon” and “salted.”  Just like they already have me at “caramel” and “salted.” They also would have me with “Caramel Macchiato.” Sensing a trend here? I’m planning on petitioning both GU Energy Labs and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series for a hit of the stuff. It’s gotta be somewhere, right?

And GU Salted Watermelon taste?

Think Watermelon Jolly Rancher with a Dash of Salt.  And seriously. What CAN’T a salty watermelon Jolly Rancher do?!? It was a party in my cracked, dry mouth. (And didn’t pull out my fillings! Watermelon GU, 1. Watermelon Jolly Rancher, -2.) Superb! It did the trick!


Honestly? It could have tasted like one of those bullshit melted Fla-Vor-Ice Pops which I despised as a child, and I still would have been good with it.  I was fading. And in need of a quick fix. GU does the trick for me on long runs and long rides. There is a definite time and place for energy gels and chews. In the absence of my beloved, 72 mile awaited cone?  It was both the time and place.

And it didn’t disappoint.

Speaking of endurance events and fueling, check out this interesting infographic from the folks at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. They reached out to us with it.  Neat, huh? They however did NOT reach out to us with the Watermelon Salted GU Energy Gels. Nor did GU Energy Labs. I wish they had. I would have been mainlining the stuff as soon as it fell into my greedy glycogen depleted paws.

What’s your go to endurance fuel? Have you ever run a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Event?  Flav-Or-Ice: Yeay or Nay?

How Long is a Marathon?


And That’s a Wrap!

Who just rode her last two long rides and wrapped up training for her 10th Pan Massachusetts Challenge?

{Cue Running Man}



Welp. Nothin’ left to do but pack, obsess about my bike and GET EXCITED for the Pan Massachusetts Challenge!  I can’t believe this is my 10th year riding. I really can’t. I’m getting that PMC-All-Choked-Up feeling every time I think about it. Come this time next week, I’ll be planted firmly on Tina’s Cape Cod Rental House’s Couch, drinking copious amounts of beer and re-capping our 200 mile ride across the great state of Massachusetts all in the name of Kicking Cancer’s Ass! It’s an EPIC experience. One I can’t imagine living without.

I “Officially” wrapped up my training this weekend, a Tour de Sunflower, if you will, with my Zippy Other Half. I told him I wanted to do a long ride this weekend, my last before the PMC. And of course, off we went. He’s good like that. There is nothing better than doing something you love, with someone you love. A perfect, long ride with My Guy. A meandering 73 mile jaunt that took us to Buttonwood Farm which is currently teaming with sunflowers. Oh and I mean TEAMING. Happy, inviting, smiling sunflowers grown for the Make a Wish Foundation of Connecticut. It’s freaking beautiful.


It was quite the hilly ride. And 73 miles ain’t short. But seeing as how I’m Little Miss Hill Climber lately, it wasn’t all that bad. Tough. But not impossible. Today’s ride was a Race Against the Storm which rounded off two fantastic rides. Just the two of us. Two Peas. My Other Half is so supportive. He’s so great riding with me. Always looking back. Always looking out. Always smiling. He’s been part of my PMC journey for years now. He knows exactly how important the PMC is to me. And I love that about him. It’s nice to ride along with someone by your side. I am lucky.

My Last Long ride is an emotional one for me. It always has been. It’s less about the training and more about why I’m training. I can’t help think about why I am riding. And for whom I am riding for. I can’t help but remember those who have lost their fight with cancer. Each year the list gets longer and longer. My heart just breaks. The ribbons I wear in honor of those who have been impacted by this insidious disease will gently flap behind me. Like wings. Generating lift. Propelling beyond cancer. Towards hope.

And that’s exactly how I see it.

To donate to Colby’s Ride:

To donate to Tina’s Ride:



Those Old Grey Mares Just Ain’t What They Used to Be

I think Road Runner ran in the June 28 race in my town. In the women's 40-50 Division.

I think Road Runner ran in the June 28 race in my town. In the women’s 40-50 Division.


I think they’re better.

I ran a small, local race on June 28 before heading into the Big Apple with Colby. (No, I was not hungover for this one – that was during our epic jaunt through Central Park on June 29.) I was a little tuckered for this one, from finally getting in a training ride early that morning for the Pan Mass Challenge. Got back from my ride, friend texted me to see if I would run the race and I was off, with echoes of my mother, circa 1986, saying “And if she asked you to jump off a bridge, would you do that too?” swirling around in my head.

Possibly, Mom, possibly. Especially if there was a finish line at the end.

The race was 2.2 miles and one of a summer series hosted in my town where the races get longer each week, ending with a 10 miler on Labor Day. Very low key. $5 per race. No name – this was the June 28 2.2 mile race. No bibs or chips. When you finish, you get a popsicle stick with your place on it and head over to a table where they write down – with a pencil and paper – your place and all your information. Someone calls out the times as people pass the finish clock and they match your place number with the time called. About as Old School, Low Key as a race can get in 2014.

Apparently, in my town, Low Key Does Not Equal Not Competitive.

Sweet Jesus.

I ran reasonably fast (7.27 pace) and came in 82nd. Yes, I bolted across the finish line and was handed a popsicle stick with the number “82” on it. Placed 82nd out of 216 runners.

Holy Shit, these people are fast. (By way of comparison, if I ran that pace for the Diva Long Island 5K last year, I would have placed 6th out of 1200).

And you know which ones are superfly fast?

Women in the 40-50 age group. Most competitive group of the bunch (women’s division).

I placed 6th in the women 40-50. Had I been in my 30’s, I would have placed 3rd. Had I been in my 20’s, I would have placed 3rd (and I definitely would have been hungover). If I were in my 50’s, I would have placed 4th.

See the trend? We still got it, Ladies!

I have noticed it at a lot of the races I run – women 40-50 is a big and fast age group. I love it. We are not stopping. We are not checking out. We are not slowing down. We are running more and getting faster.

It’s awesome. And inspiring.

Look out, Harriette Thompson. We’re coming for ya!

Glass cases of emotion brimming with potato salad.

10101Friday. How in the name of Ron Burgundy did that happen?!? A lovely four day weekend segued into a yucky four day work week peppered with trail runs, road runs and {music swells} The Dreaded Hill Repeats. It was a whole bucket full of same old, same old with a dash of sadness and pinch of disgust thrown in for good measure. As a result, my blogging promptly fell straight into the shitter.

The Week in Numbers:
Miles run: 40
Miles biked: 45
Number of vegetables in this week’s CSA: Bushels upon bushels
Glasses of wine consumed:  Copious amounts
Amount of money raised by some dude on Kickstarter in Ohio to make potato salad: Upwards of $40,000
Amount of money raised by Colby to ride across Massachusetts in the Pan Massachusetts Challenge, a 2 day, 200 mile cancer fighting odyssey to benefit life-saving cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: $2,842.25

See where the pinches of sadness and disgust came from? Has the whole world gone mad!?!?! Or is the Potato Salad Dude on to something? Are people funding potato salad because it’s quirky and silly and it’s just the lightness they need to balance the BATSHIT CRAIZINESS that has saturated the rest of the goddam place? Perhaps.

This guy wants to make potato salad.
I want to help fund a cure a for cancer by riding my bike 200 miles across the state of Massachusetts.

Who are you funding?

I know, right?!  Tough Call!

I’m being facetious. Perhaps the guy will do something noble and feed the homeless with 1,000,000 pounds of potato salad. Or donate it to potato farmers across the country who can certainly use the influx of cash. Or better yet, start an education campaign alerting parents to the dangers of leaving helpless children alone in sweltering locked cars while they run in and grocery shop for potato salad ingredients.

Just a thought.

Welp. Ohio Dude raised it. Fair and square. At the very least I hope he uses his potato salad for good, not evil.  He with the best shtick wins. Here’s a thought: What if I made potato salad WHILE riding my bike? Or better yet, juggle, peel, yodel and make potato salad while riding A UNICYCLE in support of cancer research!  I think I’m on to something.

Kickstart THIS, Baby!

Tina and Colby, Pan Massachusetts Challenge 2013!

Tina and Colby, Pan Massachusetts Challenge 2013!

Have a dollar to spare? Hate cancer more than potato salad? Then donate to our ride! Any amount will do! We’ll ride, you donate. Together we’ll kick cancer’s ass!  :-)  Many heartfelt thanks in advance!

To donate to Colby’s Ride:

To donate to Tina’s Ride: