Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads

Wait a minute! I mean to say...The Team is ready, whether they know it or not. I know how they feel, butterflies in their stomach, excitement, looking forward to being done with the training, ready to finish this bad boy. Come Saturday, March 14th, we will be taking over the little town of Solvang and hit the roads in hopefully warm, dry weather!
Good luck to all the members of Team Solvang '09! They have almost reached our goal by raising $100,000 to kick CANCERS ASS!

Monday, February 16, 2009

I start a Boot Camp Training tomorrow and Lance is my inspiration.

click on index to see Lance specifically.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh how I love my beautiful bike,
I'd rather ride than walk or hike.
It's a road bike, it's a Seven.
When I ride it, I think I'm in heaven.
I've only had one big wreck.
But, oh well, what the heck.
It's baby blue and very shiny.
When I ride too far, it hurts my hiny.
Pink streamers give it feminine flair,
People laugh at me, but I don't care.
The wind in my hair and the sun on my face,
My friends beside me, setting the pace.
A sweeter ride I'll never know,
than my dear Seven, with friends in tow.

Monday, November 17, 2008

OKAY, we done had our team kick off on November 8th. We are up to 50 somein' team members. And what a group! So much enthusiasm and team spirit. I can already see what a great season this is going to be. It is such a privilege to be part of the team staff this season and I take my mentoring position very seriously. My man Steve Zimmerman held my hand when I first started out with TNT in November '06 as I prepared to train and fundraise. I hope to do the same for others and make their training and fundraising as successful as mine. Herrrrrrre we go......GO TEAM!!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Stats from Death Ride 2008:
My bike computer failed to operate properly on the day of the Death Ride. So I am depending on others for estimates.

Ride distance: 108.86 miles
Ride time: 12 hour. 36 min 59 second
Burned calories 9,589
Elevation: 13,395 ft of climbing

Total Stats for Season:

Ride distance: 3,215.87
Ride time: 355:36
Burned calories: 123,566
Elevation: 194,272 ft of climbing

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The way I planned and thought my Death Ride was going to go didn't turn out exactly that way. But many things in life don't. Because of extenuating circumstances and more important events just a couple weeks prior to, I didn't even know if I was going to make it up to Markleeville on July 12th. At about 10:30pm Friday night, the night before the event my husband and I decided to go.
We arrived at the hotel in Minden at 2:00am. Just in time to get up to prepare for the ride and be ready to drive out to the start with the team by 3:15am. After getting everything into the hotel room Ken wanted to go over to the hotel casino to get a scotch. He told me to lay down and he would be back in a half an hour to wake me. I'm sure all I did was give him a blank stare....after he left I stood there thinking to myself, "Is this possible? Can I do this?" I didn't know. So I organized my things, then at 2:15 I actually got under the covers and layed there with my eyes closed. It lasted about 30 seconds. I thought this just is not going to happen. So instead, I prayed.
I asked God to bless the team, that no one would get hurt, no injuries and everyone have a great ride. Then I asked him to help me find what I needed to get out of the bed and face the challenge. I started psyching myself up by saying out loud that Jesus has been there for me through the past five months of training; he's not going to let me down know. So I yelled out loud, "Well I'm not gonna do it lying here!!!" and I bounced, yes bounced out of the bed and started running around like a maniac! I got in the shower, scarved down my breakfast, and was out front meeting Amy to load bikes like I'd been there all night.
The team caravaned out to the start and got our bikes out and lights on. We were on the road by 4:10am. It was really something to see, a long line of red lights ahead of me, all these bikes in the pitch dark. By the time we got to the first climb, Monitor Pass, I think there was a hint of morning light. It was amazing to climb that mountain and see the sun rise. I was thoroughly enjoying myself. I reached the summit and got sticker # one!! Yippee!!! Then the first decent. What a blast. I flew down and was overcome with emotion and was sobbing most of the way down. I figured no one could hear me. It was a great release!!
At the bottom of Monitor Pass we receive our sticker #2. So now we had to earn it by climbing out, a little over nine miles. I got to the summit a second time and began my decent, and again, the sobbing. But it all felt good. I rolled to the bottom and look to my left and I spot my son Adam and friend Mary Cook. Adam is video taping me and laughing at me. I was so happy to see them. They had to hike in over a mile to meet me at that point. Mary had a leg in a splint from a cycling accident earlier that week. So extra kudos kiddo. I told them I did not sleep, was up all night and Adam laughed and asked me, "Mom, aren't you tired?" Well, yes dear. However, raising four boys, and pulling so many graveyard shifts with doubles on top of each other really helped train me to know how to go without sleep! It was about 9:00am by this time and I had been on the bike about five hours.
Now I began my climb up Ebbett's face. This is a thirteen mile climb. All this time I am hydrating and was eating according to plan. I figured in my head if I can make it to the top of Ebbett's there was no way I wouldn't drop down the back side. It was only a five mile decent so I knew I would be able to get up that five mile climb back out and I would have my four passes.
All the while, my Fabulous Five teammates are so encouraging. At one point coming up Ebbett's I told teammate Kimberly that I appreciated her telling me our mileage; our feet of climbing; what was still coming; how much farther, and that she was staying with me. I said to her, "I know what you are doing, and I really appreciate it." She was carrying me and helping me keep my mind steady and focused. We were all watching out for each other. I normally felt like a strong contributor to my team to motivate others; but this time I really was just trying to cope with thinking straight! Keeping those pedals moving the right direction!
We summited Ebbett's, sticker#3. We visited with a few other people we knew that were doing the ride. I was getting pretty tired by now. Everyone was. We descended Ebbett's and there was a TNT supporter angel named Betty at the bottom. I tried to eat a banana but could only get half of it down me. I was not feeling to good. I tried to drink some water. I new I was rummy and now looking back I didn't do the things I was suppose to. I realize I abandoned my electrolytes, sea salts and food. I do remember during the climb back out of Ebbett's I nibbled on some Shot Blocks that teammate Steve Asche gave me at some point. I did continue to sip my water from my Camelback. We reached the top of Ebbett's the second time. So we're at the top and what starts happening? Hail!! I thought, "Oh crap....I have to stay upright." We got rained on too but as we were descending it stopped and the road was dry. That descent is a little more technical than the others. Plus I was more fatigued so I didn't enjoy it as much as Monitor. I took it slow at first then cut lose. I remember thinking, payback is so sweet.
I reached the bottom, sticker #4. I was there before anyone else and waited. The plan was to paceline back to the cars at Turtle Rock Park where we planned to eat our lunch and freshen up before the final climb up Carson for the fifth pass. They were taking a long time so I thought, maybe I had time to use the bathroom and propped my bike up against a tree and got in the line. I was only there a few minutes and see three of the team come flying by. So I run to my bike and jump on trying to catch them. My heart rate was elevated, but for some reason I thought it was imperative to catch them so we could paceline. I don't know why, I easily could have rode along myself. I kept yelling to Michelle and she finally heard me. Then I was able to reach them and we pacelined till we came to a hill. I was really beginning to struggle. They were dropping me. I knew we had to really move to get to the cars to get food and then be on our way. Through out the course there are cut off times. We needed to get out to the next point for the Woodford's cut off by 4:00pm. I am guessing it was about 3:15 by this time.
The ride to the cars was were my ride started to fall apart. I had burned a lot of fuel trying to catch up and had not been eating. I wasn't sure how far the cars were, but I knew there was a Team In Training tent somewhere before them. I thought if I could get there, I could get a Gu or something and possibly save myself. I saw the tent and rolled up saying to Merla (team manager) that I was beginning to bonk and did they have any Gu's . So they start rushing around to get something for me. Laura, one of our SAG Angle's had a delicious wrap and gave it to me. It had a lot of fuel in it but I would have had to eat it about an hour before that!! Ha ha. But it did help. Enough to get me rolling to where the cars were. I arrived at the cars and my husband Ken was there. He was rushing around helping all the girls get the food out and refilling bottles, etc. I told him I was bonking and needed a Gu. STAT!! Shelly was right on it and handed me a Hammer Gel. I took that and drank water. In the mean time the girls are giving me food and we are all trying to do what we needed to do. Eat, get water, we planned to change into fresh cycling shorts and ice our feet. Ken had a large bag of ice and the girls and I were taking turns sticking our feet in. It was refreshing and helped bring any swelling down.
I remember Ken helping me get my shoes off to put my feet in the ice. I was telling him, I thought I was going to be okay and be able to recover from the bonking. I was feeling slightly better. I also thought I had enough stamina in me to make the fifth pass.
I started rolling with Shelly, Michelle, and Kimberly. These girls were on fire. Shelly reminded me of the energizer bunny. And Michelle was like a mad women on a mission. I am sure they were not feeling very well either, but I was feeling so sick by this time. Once we made the Woodford's turnoff and 4:00 cut off, we know had to get to Pickett's Junction for the 5:15 and final cut off. However, that's when it all went to hell in a hand basket for me. It started to hail again with a major down pour. There was flash flooding and within seconds I was soaked. I stopped and put on my jacket. I looked down at my arms and the jacket was soaked. I started laughing and pedaling up "freakin'" hill. It couldn't at least be a flat section. I began thinking those not so positive thoughts. Ken drives by and he's yelling out to me that I "look good", your pedal stroke is good and strong. You know, annoying stuff like that. He drives ahead. I kept going, wondering how the other girls were doing. I asked God to keep everyone safe in this weather. Then I see Ken standing next to the car in the pouring rain clapping and cheering me on. I just stare at him as I very slowly pedal by. I told him I thought I was going to hurl and didn't want to keep going. I heard another man's voice behind me . He was saying to Ken, "I've been behind her the whole way and she's doing good." So Ken gave him encouragement too.
So now this guy is behind me. He has a real heavy Texan accent and I knew it wasn't someone I knew. But he started telling me to drink. That he hasn't seen me drink for a while and I needed to even though it was so cold. Oh yes, we were freezing our asses off. I pretty much ignored him. I felt like I didn't have enough strength to reach for the water bottle. A little while later he repeated to me to drink. This time I did. We went on for a while and I was almost to Pickett's. I started calculating in my head the time. I looked at the time and it was after 4:00. I had been on the bike for over twelve hours. I knew I had at least another ten or twelve mile climb to the top of Carson Pass. That would be another two to three hours. I also was feeling like I was dozing off, if that is possible. I finally told the nice man behind me that I was pulling over and stopping. I got off to the side. And stood there knowing it was over for me. Ken pulled up and I told him, so he parked and got out. He took my bike and as he put it in the car I had this overwhelming grief. That I didn't do it. I could not believe it. But I didn't want to cry in front of Ken, in fear of making him feel bad. So I just got into the car and talking about how cold I was and sick to my stomach. I changed into warm clothes. We were sitting there and low and behold here comes Grace!!!! This is were my gloomy state of mind did a complete 180. Grace is our team honoree. For those of you who have not read about her in my previous Blogs, she is 58 years old and less than a year out of chemotherapy. She actually smiled as she went by, very slowly. This was priceless though. It's probably one of those things where you had to be there. She smiles because I'm yelling like a crazy fool, go Grace! You are amazing! That stuff. Then she glances at the car and inside the car and looks back up at me, (still pedaling) and says, "I'm done", "I think I'm done.". So naturally I tell her NO! Grace you have to keep going. (Keep up this insanity, stay out there in this pouring rain! ) So Grace keeps on going. We are just before at Pickett's now and Ken was getting very concerned about Grace having hypothermia. So we go by her and she says again that she thinks she needs to call it. WE stop and get her in the car with blankets on her. I'm not sure how Grace was actually feeling then about the ride, but I was so excited and happy for her that she had done so well. Okay things get even better, now I spot Suzie coming up behind us. Grace and I start screaming out the window at Suzie. She's kind of smiling. A lot of this is a blur to me now. I can't remember how everything played out. Suzie turned around at Pickett's. It's still pouring. I'm seeing and watching for other teammates as riders descend.
Ken and I eventually get back to the hotel room. I was happy and excited because I knew Kimberly and Michelle and Shelly most likely made it. I had waves and still do of regret that I was not with them. I remember speaking to my mother in law on the phone and one of my nephews, maybe even my kids, but don't remember what I said. I asked my nephew if I made any sense when he talked to me and he said I sounded fine and wide awake.
So, all season I would say to people, "I have to make the five passes, because if I don't it can only mean I have to do it again." Well..........