Monday, August 28, 2006

Hydrate or die...or, well, get dropped from the paceline

I have to confess that this was a hard weekend of training. The move from New York to Southern California has meant a change in topography, and my bike rides are now filled with steeper and longer hills. This weekend, I trained with Team in Training and we rode 35 hilly miles. I was riding with the “C,” or fastest team and, for the first time, I really struggled with the speed. Up around 19 to 22 mph, I found my legs felt dead and I just couldn’t keep up with the paceline. A hard lesson learned about hydration, I think, since that “dead” feeling in my legs generally=dehydrated.

I rode again on Sunday, with a friend, and we did a hard 25 miles. Again, based on what I drank and how I felt, I’d say dehydration was a significant factor. Not to mention that we stopped by a friend’s party in the afternoon and one margarita left me loopy! Now, I may be a lightweight when it comes to drinking, but not that light. This week, I will be paying a lot more attention to fluids.

For those of you who have not been reading my blog on a regular basis, I’m once again mentoring with Team in Training, a part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. My wife and I will be riding in El Tour de Tucson in November. This is a century-plus event, meaning that it is longer than 100 miles. We are both fundraising and hope to raise about $6,000 between the two of us.

This year, this ride has extra meaning for us. We rode last year and got engaged at the end of the ride. During her training, Nadene had a mentor, Ted, who was a leukemia survivor. Just as training was beginning this year, we learned that Ted had relapsed. His cancer is back. Each day, we get a health update from Ted. Here’s yesterdays, which I found particularly sobering:

Didn't sleep quite as well last night as the night before, but I got in some reading in the wee hours. I had a platelet transfusion. I finally got to talk to my doctor about my prognosis today, and he said that it is worse than before my first transplant. That is generally what I expected. He didn't give me any numbers or anything, but we both understood. We are still going for a cure. Whatever it takes.

The rashes are starting to heal. I actually have a few square inches on my body that are not either bright red or purple. I should charge admission to see the amazing eggplant man!

I have not had a fever all day until this evening. My nurse thinks it is a conspiracy to make her take blood cultures. As I am writing this I am shaking mildly.

I also got a haircut today! It seems like every hair that falls out of your head wants to find its way into your mouth and it drives me nuts! Glad to get rid of it.

Needless to say, whenever we’re on the bikes, struggling, we know that it is nothing compared to what Ted is going through.

As a part of my fundraising, I’ve made an offer in a prior blog posting. But I also want to clarify that you can make a donation regardless of your interest in getting your material read. Every little bit helps. It can just be something you do as a good deed.

Remember, cancer is a “six degrees” disease. If you don’t have it, you know someone who has it. If you don’t know someone who has it, you know someone who knows someone who has it. Someone somewhere in your life has been, is being, or will be affected in a negative way by some form of cancer. So, please, if you can, visit
http://www.active.com/donate/tntsdh/tntsdhAZack and make a donation. All donations are 100% tax deductible.

Thank you.

Z.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Miles to Go to Find a Cure

Whoo boy! Here we go again.

As many regular readers of my blog know, I recently got married. And that marriage started with a proposal at the end of a 109.3-mile bike ride through Tucson, AZ—El Tour de Tucson.

Well, my lovely wife, Nadene, has decided that we must celebrate the anniversary of our engagement by doing that bike ride again, so....

As you may also remember, when we did that ride, it was after training for months with Team in Training, part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Thousands of riders converge on Tucson, all with one goal in mind: Finding a cure for blood-related cancers.

Training with Team in Training has been one of the most rewarding and inspirational experiences of my life and, if you haven’t done it, I strongly urge you to do so. Your perspective on life will change and you will cherish all that you have that much more.

Recently we learned that Nadene’s training mentor from last year has relapsed, and so we are feeling extra-motivated this year to raise as much as we can in donations to help find a cure for leukemia and lymphoma. Therefore, I am once again making a limited-time offer to all those authors out there who would like to help out a great cause:

Though I am currently closed to new queries and submissions, I will read your sample chapter, up to 25 pages long (I strongly suggest you send the first chapter), plus a synopsis (double-spaced) up to 5 pages long, and provide you with my thoughts and feedback on that chapter, in exchange for a donation of $100.00 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Of course, if I love your sample chapter, I may ask for more material and this may lead to representation (no promises, though).

You may make this donation in one of two ways:

Visit my webpage at
http://www.active.com/donate/tntsdh/tntsdhAZack and make the contribution with your credit card, then mail a copy of the receipt you receive along with your sample chapter and synopsis.

Mail in a check in the amount of $100.00, payable to the “Leukemia and Lymphoma Society” along with your sample chapter and synopsis.

All donations to LLS are 100% tax deductible.

This offer expires on November 18, 2006.

I will respond within 30 days to all such submissions. Please do be sure to enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for your response.

To recap:

• Donate $100 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by credit card on the website and send in your receipt, or donate by check which you will include with your sample chapter and synopsis
• Send in a sample chapter not to exceed 25 pages, along with a synopsis not to exceed 5 pages
• Include an SASE

• This offer expires on November 18, 2006

You get:

• A response within 30 days
• Possibly a request for more material if I love your sample chapter and synopsis (no promises!)
• A written response with my thoughts if I don’t, in fact, love your sample chapter or synopsis
• A tax deduction for the amount of your donation

The Zack Company, Inc. in absolutely no way makes money off this offer (unless I find a fabulous novel and represent it in a big, fat sale to a publisher). All checks should be made payable to THE LEUKEMIA AND LYMPHOMA SOCIETY.

The address for submissions is:

The Zack Company, Inc.
249 South Highway 101 # 520
Solana Beach, CA 92075-1807

This is NOT an open call for submissions. I am closed to any new submissions and queries unless those submissions are part of my efforts to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I will return, unread, any submissions that are not a part of this offer. Please write “LLS Submission” on the envelope.

Please do visit our website and review the
Manuscript Preparation Guidelines prior to making your submission.

Thank you for helping to find the cure!

Z.