Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Success Amid Failure

The Icicle Metric is over. I didn't finish it. I completed 38 miles and simply could not make it up one more hill. When the SAG wagon came to get me, he said I stopped at the perfect spot, because "the next few miles had the major hills." WHAT?? The hills I tackled were not the "major" ones??? Holy &^%$&!

I took a ride later in the day to see what I had missed along the course and he was right - if I had gone just around the corner from where I stopped, what awaited me was a GIANT hill. I never would have made it.

I realized something, which made stopping easier - I wasn't having fun anymore. I was dreading the next turn, thinking it would bring a hill. I had to get off the bike and walk up the last few. I hate walking anyway, and walking in bike shoes is certainly no picnic. I would get a nice downhill, and all I was thinking about was whether I had enough speed to carry me up the majority of the next hill. I wasn't enjoying the ride anymore. So I stopped.

One thing they tell you at Weight Watchers, over and over again, is to find an exercise you enjoy, or else you won't stick with it. I was so thrilled to find biking, because I truly enjoy it - I feel like a little kid riding my bike. On Saturday, I started out with that feeling, but by the end, I was just a tired, overweight, miserable heap of sweaty, sore mess. So I stopped.

On Sunday, I got back on my bike - I took my familiar route into Old New Castle, and aside from being very sore, and having a little trouble getting up hills I never even noticed being there before, I was having fun again! I went about 10.5 miles on Sunday - I wanted to go further, but my body just wouldn't have it - and I had fun!

I took another look at the elevation map for Tahoe. Aside from the two big climbs, it's not a very hilly ride. The hills that are there undulate, giving breathing space in between (the hills on Saturday just kept coming - one after another after another, with no relief). So yea, while the two climbs may be challenging, I'm looking forward to enjoying the ride. Because really - isn't that what it's all about?

And I did ride 38 miles on Saturday - pretty impressive considering.....

Friday, March 25, 2011

My First "Real" Ride is Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the (aptly-named) Icicle Metric Century in Newark, DE. My first real, supported, not-just-me-and-a-couple-others ride. I really don't know what to expect. I mean, I know there will be a route, painted on the ground (I hope I don't get lost!) and rest stops along it. I have no idea how many people signed up (and more importantly, how many will not let the cold chase them away). And I know we start off around 8:30 am, and the course closes (no more support) at 4:00 pm. So I've got 7 1/2 hours to go 60 miles. I hope I can make it!

But, I did 40 miles last Saturday, and nearly 40 the Saturday before. So I think I'm ready for this. They tell me there are hills - but I was in Lancaster County last weekend - the hills can't be worse. If I can finish the 60+ mile ride this Saturday, I will feel completely confident I can finish America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride in Tahoe in June!

So, wish me luck! It's going to be in the 20s and 30s out there but I do have the appropriate clothing (although I may be stopping at Performance Bicycle to pick up some shoe bootie things - I don't have them yet and people tell me I need them). It will be cold but at least it's supposed to be sunny - no rain! Yay!

Oh and thanks to everyone who has donated! I've reached my minimum fundraising goal for Tahoe, and I've closing in on my own goal! You guys ROCK! Thanks also for the support and encouraging words. They mean a lot to me.

See you after I melt the Icicle!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Metric Century Coming Up!

First of all - MY FUNDRAISING TOPPED $4,000 THIS MORNING! I'm quickly closing in on my goal! If you want to help me stop worrying about fundraising and just enjoy the rest of the journey, please visit my donation website. Any gift, no matter how small, will help fight blood cancers.

Also, please consider joining me at my next fundraiser - Dinner at Casablanca Moroccan Restaurant in New Castle, DE on Tuesday, March 22 at 6:00 pm. It's only $30 per person, including tip (alcoholic beverages are available but are not included) and you get a 6 COURSE meal! And there will be a bellydancer! Good times! Hope you can join us if you live nearby!

As I said last time, the mileage is really piling up. Last Saturday I did 40 miles! To put that into perspective, I rode from my house in New Castle, DE to Elkton, MD - I crossed the Mason-Dixon Line, BABY!! OH YEA!! :o)

On Sunday, my training schedule had me doing 20 miles, but I only did 10.7. However, it was a very productive 10.7, as I wore my bike shoes for the first time on a ride - on streets and everything! I even crossed the highway with them! I feel a lot more confident about wearing the shoes and snapping in and out of the pedals. I now plan to wear them this weekend for another 40 mile ride (in Lancaster County for a change - anyone have any routes to suggest?) and for the Metric Century (62 miles) next weekend in Newark.

I'm also signed up for a 50 mile ride in Bethany Beach in April, and a 50 mile ride in Newark in May (Tour de Cure, benefiting diabetes research - my father died from complications related to diabetes, so it's another charity close to my heart). If anyone wants to join me for all (or part - all of these rides have shorter versions), please let me know - it's fun to ride with people you know!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The mileage is adding up

Today I'm supposed to ride 35 miles. It's supposed to be warm (highs around 60F) and would be perfect for a nice long ride. But I scheduled too much today in too many broken chunks, so I can't ride 3+ hours at a time. I guess at least I'll break it into segments and at least get the saddle time in.

Last week I rode with members of the team and we took Route 82 from Greenville to Kennett. Beautiful ride, with some tricky hills. I held my own until near the end. I tried to shift into a lower gear to go up a hill and my gear got stuck. Momentum ceased and I found myself walking the hill. After that it was all mental. I couldn't do the other 2 hills I encountered. Amazing what happens when your head just isn't in the right place.

I had my bike fitted before last week's ride, and it made a big difference. I also got new pedals that I can clip into. Now I need to practice clipping and unclipping my shoes, so I don't tip over like a loser, with my feet stuck in the pedals. :o) I think I'm going to try that this morning, while I'm waiting for a 9:00 am appointment.

I have two fundraiser dinners coming up - On Monday, March 7, anyone who dines at Friendly's on Kirkwood Highway in Newark, DE from 5-9 pm will be helping Team in Training - a percentage of your check will be donated!

Also, on Tuesday, March 22, I'm hosting a dinner at Casablanca Moroccan Restaurant on Route 13 in New Castle, Delaware. $30 per person gets you 6 amazing courses of wonderful Moroccan food, served family style. Plus there will be a belly dancer. Tip is included, but alcoholic beverages are not. 20% of proceeds go to Team in Training. Please RSVP to me for this event.

Also, if you are interested in PartyLite votives, tealights, or jar candles, let me know - I am selling them, and 50% of the proceeds go to Team in Training.

Or you can just donate by clicking This Link

Thanks for the support!