Monday, October 5, 2009

Philly Livestrong Challenge ride report.

I set out on the 100 mile course around 8:30 in the morning and finished a little after 4pm. One of the things that I enjoyed the most, though, was getting to talk to all of the participants and learning their stories. So many of them had bibs on their jerseys that read “In Honor Of,” or “In Memory Of.” I wore 2 bibs on my Jersey, one that said "In Memory of Uncle Don" and the other said "I'm a survivor - 21 years".

Here is the ride report.
The morning of the ride I got up at 5am. The roads leading to the starting area are single lane so the traffic builds really fast. After a quick stop at Dunkin Donuts for some wake up juice we were on our way. Poor Lauren was tired but was a good sport about getting up so early. The ride was to start at 8am but was delayed to 8:30 do to the large number of participants. Finally I was off. Because of the late start I decided to skip rest stop #1 to make up a little time. I was feeling really good anyway so waiting for rest stop #2 was no big deal. Rest stop #2 was about 20 miles into the ride. Still feeling fresh I filled my water bottles, grabbed a power bar and was on my way. Next stop was rest stop #3 (32 miles). Knowing there were hard climbs coming after the 3rd stop I decided to take a 10 min break. I pigged out on all sorts of stuff. Nuts, raisins, gummy bears, peanut butter and jelly sandwich and power bar gels. Again filled the water bottles and was on my way. That would be the only stop I actually took a break at, the rest of the stops I grabbed food, filled my bottles and moved on. The climbs were killer and the hills never stopped coming. The first hard climb started at mile 35, it was 5 miles long but not too steep. The second hard climb came around mile 60, it was shorter at 2 miles but had spikes to 24% grade. Man those hills took a lot out of me.

There were several times throughout my ride where I looked to the sky and thought of my Uncle Don. It was in his name that I was dedicating my ride. I think I may have even asked him to put the wind at my back for a little help. I probably should have rested more during my ride but I didn’t want to miss the course cut off of 4pm. My legs started cramping around mile 65 and I had leg cramps up until the finish. Not too bad but still one more obstacle on an already hard day. At mile 73 the skies opened up with a heavy downpour. I didn’t mind the rain as it was a relief from the heat but it really slowed me down while traveling down hill. I didn’t want to crash and not finish so I took my time in the rain. Not long after the sun came out again and the humidity had to be at 100% with a temp in the mid 90’s.

20 miles to go. When I saw the 20 miles to go sign I started to feel good again. My body was drained but I kept thinking I do 20 mile rides all the time, no big deal. Even the smallest hill felt huge but I knew the end was near. I blew past the final rest stop with no water or food but knowing I only had 9 miles left. The last mile I decided to give it what little I had left. I went all out passing many others on their way to finish. During the last mile I again looked to the sky and told Uncle Don I did it for him. I rode across the finish line feeling good and with a big smile on my face. Total time on the bike was 7hrs and 4min, distance 100 miles.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

19 days to go

19 days until the LiveStrong Challenge in Philly. I'm feeling pretty good and think that I am ready. Today I will go out for a 20 mile ride and hope to log over a 100 miles this week.

So far I have raised $1015 that will towards the fight against cancer. Thank you all for your continue support.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Training has begun

With the passing of my uncle I’m more motivated than ever. My uncle Don recently lost his battle with cancer after a long hard fight. We need to find a cure for cancer and I will do my very best to help in any way I can. It is in my uncle’s memory that I will ride the liveStrong Challenge this year.


Monday, December 1, 2008

2009 Philly LiveStrong Challenge

Today I registered for the 100 mile course in Philly. I came so close to completing it last year that I just had to go back and give it another try.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

2009 LiveStrong Challenge Dates Announced

The dates and locations for the 2009 LIVESTRONG Challenge series have been announced.

  • Seattle, WA: June 20-21, 2009
  • San Jose, CA: July 11-12, 2009
  • Philadelphia, PA: August 22-23, 2009
  • Austin, TX: October 23-25, 2009

Registration will open in December 1st of this year.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

LiveStrong Challange Ride Report

First I want to say Thank You to all of you that supported me in this fight against cancer. Together we raised $3251 that will go directly towards helping others win their fight. The team I am part of raised a combined total of $50,517. The LiveStrong Challenge Philadelphia was a huge success. Roughly 5000 participants raised over 3 million dollars.

I kicked off my weekend with a warm-up ride through Valley Forge National Park. Nothing much just about 10 miles with a few friends but it was a great opportunity to see the Valley Forge National Park. Later that night I attended the fundraiser awards dinner. Because I reached the fundraising goal of $3000 I was invited to the fundraising awards dinner hosted by Lance Armstrong. The dinner was very inspirational and motivating especially when you heard all of the stories. Like the group of fundraisers from Calgary Canada that not only raised huge amounts of money for the cause, they also paid for many current cancer patients to be flown to Philly so they could attend the challenge. As if that wasn’t enough they rode their bikes from Calgary to Philadelphia to participate in the challenge. Yes you read that right; they rode their bikes all the way from Canada to Philadelphia. There was also this story about a dedicated doctor in Harlem, Dr. Freeman that has dedicated his life to helping the poor get the proper care and treatment so they too can have a chance to win their fight against cancer. And the list goes on.

Ride day. I had the honor of riding with so many great people. Some cancer survivors, some care givers, some riding for their brother, mother, father, whoever but all were riding for the cause. Many shared their story with me as we rode and some cheered me on when they saw the survivor tag on my back.

By now most of you are probably thinking well did he finish the ride or not? I did NOT complete the 100 miles. I was true to my word though and rode until I could no longer pedal. Here is the short story. At around mile 60 I started to develop pain in my left knee. I continued to push until around mile 75 when the pain on each stroke became unbearable. I finished the last hill with pretty much my right leg only. I was really disappointed because other than my knee hurting I felt pretty good and knew that I could make it all the way if I were not injured. The LiveStrong organizers put all of the riders that didn’t make the course cut off in time or were hurting on a bus and drove us within 2 miles of the finish so we could ride across the finish line and complete the ride. Of course this was optional, you didn’t have to finish if you didn’t want to or were hurt. I chose to ride the last 2 miles and don’t even want to go into how bad it hurt but in the end I did finish my ride. Not the full 100 miles I had planned but I did ride about 80 miles and climbed 6000 feet.

Thank You once again for everything.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Training Update for June

June was a great month for both my training and fundraising efforts. I reached my goal of 300 miles for the month of June. I almost didn’t make it. I was in NY for the weekend and had to take my bike along with me so I could get in one more ride for the month and reach my goal. Luckily the weather cooperated and I took a nice ride to Jones beach. For July I will be shooting for 400 miles and will be trying to average 100 miles a week. With a little less than 2 months left to go it is time to really step up my training.

On the fundraising front. With the help of so many wonderful people my goal of raising $2500 was reached. I have since raised my fundraising goal to $3000. If I reach $3000 I will get to attend the pasta dinner the night before the ride. The dinner is hosted by Lance Armstrong himself and I would be quite honored to attend.

Thank You for your continued support.