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Monday, May 25, 2009

Short check ride

I pulled out the single speed for a short ride today to check the legs. I felt very good, save for a little soreness in my lower back above my right hip. I can only attribute that to the over 4500 right turns I made on Saturday.

I got word on Facebook today one of my high school classmates' father is back in the hospital with cancer. I also got word yesterday about my mom's friend is having significant complications from chemo in this round with cancer.

I can't help but think we are fighting the good fight against cancer but it's really time to step up our game. It's time to make cancer a national priority in the way that taking a manned trip to the moon was a national priority. Join your local LIVESTRONG Army.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

100 (and 76) Miles of Nowhere

Yesterday was the FatCyclist.com 100 Miles of Nowhere. After collecting donations in the 100 Miles of Nowhere challenge, I raise $880 prior to the start of the event. I pledged to ride 1 mile for every $5 donated to my LIVESTRONG Challenge page so I committed to riding 176 miles, not just the 100. I also allowed the donors a vote on how I did it with every $10 they donated. They had a choice between the trainer in the garage, a spin cycle in the gym, or a .15-mile loop. The loop won so I got to ride approximately 1174 times around that loop over the course of the day.

On Friday, I got bottles filled and food ready. I am allergic to nuts and sesame seeds so having actual, high-energy food is a bit difficult. It was nothing but gels, sport beans and Clif Bars kid's ZBars. Don't get me wrong, the ZBars are tasty, but they run a little more than half the calories of their adult-style brethren. When you run through 9,000+ calories on a ride, half the calories just doesn't cut it. I welcome feeding advice from folks who use allergen-free fueling methods.

Saturday morning, I wanted to be up and rolling prior to 5:30 a.m. in the interests of being finished by my youngest daughter's second birthday. Breakfast took longer than I wanted and I needed to set up my feed zone and information, so at least the neighbors could find out what I was up to.

I got rolling before the neighborhood got moving. My pace was decently high for the first few hours while the sun rose. I tried switching direction after the first hour and decided the off-camber turn in the opposite direction was uncomfortable and would require ditching too much speed in the corner, so it was all rights, all day. I also made the resolution I wouldn't look at mileage until I reached the next hour of riding so I wouldn't drive myself nuts looking at the miles tick by.

The girls came up a couple of times to shoot pictures and shout encouragement.

I greatly appreciated the brief periods of human contact. Riding that loop over and over was a very lonely experience. I started the day dreaming of what I'd do if I won the lottery. Somewhere around miles 60-80, my brain completely shut off save for checking for cars and rocks on the turns. I absorbed the music from my iPod and thought about absolutely nothing except surviving this ride.

I stopped for a extended break at mile 80 when I cramped on the inside of my right leg. A little caffeinated, sugary help, a few minutes stretching, and a resolve to bring the pace down a bit to prevent recurrence later, and I was on my way again.

At mile 85, the girls checked in again. I managed to accidently press both buttons on the brake hoods and reset the trip meter. Fortunately, I had the GPS backup. I gave them the extra battery to recharge on the GPS.

Somewhere along the way, my parents and my brother and his fiance stopped by to check in. They got a sandwich for me, which I ate in multiple sittings, and that helped a little with the calorie deficit.

One of my colleagues and his family stopped by with some energy goodies at about mile 120. They hollered encouragement from the car and, once again, I appreciate having a little human contact and encouragement. The girls were tied up all afternoon getting ready for my youngest daughter's second birthday so I had no visitors at the loop for a while.

My wife brought back the extra GPS battery somewhere around 4:45 p.m. I apparently didn't seat the connection correctly so the GPS ran out of battery shortly thereafter.

I took a little break at about 6:00 p.m. for the party. I was at mile 161. I also discovered the GPS ran out of juice at that point. I had to go off the initial odometer reading to make sure I got through 176.

My dad shot a picture of me after I walked in to the party. I looked much more chipper in the others but I thought this one really captured how I felt.

After presents and cake, I headed back to the top of the hill to ride the final 15 miles. Never have I felt so relieved to be able to get back on the bike. I really wanted to make sure I finished this ride in one day.

In the end, I finished my first race, I rode 62 miles longer in a day than I ever have before, and I raised a bunch of money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I even surprised myself and averaged 16 mph while riding. I was hoping I'd be close to 16, but I figured I'd drop well below that in the end. It was one of the more lonely things I have ever done but if it means raising $900 for the LAF, I'd do it all over again.

Here's a little video I put together of the ride:

FatCyclist.com 100 Miles of Nowhere, Keizer Edition from Jeremy Everitt on Vimeo.

The GPS track of the ride:


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wow! It's been a while...

It's been busy in my house the last few weeks. We prepared for and successfully ran the booth at the Keizer Iris Festival last weekend. Final stats:
3 days, 24 hours open
$150.36 in donations
100+ wristbands given away
30+ signatures on the LIVESTRONG Petition
94 links on the chain of loved ones
5+ pamphlets
8+ people referred to SurvivorCare
3+ possible team members
1 Survivorship Notebook given to a person biopsied Friday

It was incredible talking to people about their connection to cancer. I was physically and emotionally spent by the end of the weekend.

The 100 Miles of Nowhere has been a resounding success. $880 have been raised for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and I will be riding 176 miles on Saturday, unless someone wants to put a little more in the pot in the next 24 hours. Bring on the pain.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Almost to $1000

I just had a handful of checks come in today putting the overall total of funds raised at $895. That is tantalizingly close to that magic $1000 mark. I hope some of you can donate, find friends to donate, beg family members, or do whatever you can to help reach that $1000 milestone.


Friday, May 1, 2009

A milestone reached

This week has been a rough one around our house. Everybody but Mom ended up not feeling so great at some point during the week. Fortunately, we are starting to recover a bit.

With a check from a colleague, my 100 Miles of Nowhere challenge reached $520 raised for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. This means I will ride 104 miles, if the current vote holds, in a .16-mile loop at the top of the hill by my house.

Now I'm not going to poo-poo $520, but I think we can do better. We've got three more weeks to get those donations in and make me go an absolutely insane 200 miles. Tell all your friends.

The 100 Miles of Nowhere raised over $21,000 in entry fees for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. This means Team Fatty is rapidly approaching $200,000, a huge milestone. Even if your not a fan of the 100 Miles of Nowhere silliness, please help us break through that $200K barrier and keep on trucking.