2010 Scenic Shore 150
Last year the prospect of doing 75 miles in back to back days seemed quite daunting. A month before the MS 150 last year while doing a ride up in the Michigan U.P. I crashed with 5 miles to go; I finished, but with bruised/cracked ribs for the first time I was mentally and physically wounded. No 150 mile attempt last year.
Back in April, with the help of several supporters, I did my first organized century for the Lymphoma Research Foundation. Never before had I had the motivation of others and a cause to drive me to the end. It was amazing, so amazing in fact I decided to make another attempt at the 150 miles again this time for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Scenic Shore 150.
Again I had a multitude of supporters all through Twitter and Facebook that helped me fundraise for my Mom and my friend Kristin. This time I actually had my parents come up with me to support me as well. It was time to ride.
Saturday had a forecast of storms and started off with rain. I had just made it back in Milwaukee the night after the big flood with the infamous Escalade swallowing sinkhole less than three blocks from my apartment. The morning of the ride I was out of synch, short on rest, and quite unprepared not to mention it was raining.
I do not like riding in the rain, but it finally stopped on the way to Mequon. I got there, scarfed down a muffin and some milk, checked in, and waved goodbye to my parents. Ready or not I had to go. It got pretty hot and sticky halfway through the ride and my other poor decision was to drink mostly water instead of gatorade. I had done 75+ miles rides several times and by time I got to the last 25 miles I was concerned if I was going to make it. This had never happened to me before. My kidneys were hurting, I couldn’t breathe, I was just short of vomiting. My biggest concern was just making it while at the same time my mind was saying “it’s only DAY 1! How was I going to make DAY 2?” I had never biked to Manitowoc before and hadn’t studied the map/route so I didn’t really know how much further I had to go and didn’t want to know. I was just so relieved to see the finish line and my parents when I arrived. I was barely functioning.
My parents got me back to the hotel and showered where I felt faint again. Still I got back on the shuttle for some dinner, had a couple of beers, met up with my team for a bit, but then scurried back to the hotel. I had figured my body was needing salt more than anything. I finally settled back in at the hotel with some nutritious Oskar Blues Pale Ale and lots of salty peanuts while watching the Brewers win on TV. I went slowly to sleep wondering how I could wake up tomorrow and face another 75 miles. My parents were more concerned than I.
Day 2 I woke up extra early, and was more prepared and focused. Even after running after and missing the first shuttle back to the campus I made it to there early for a great hot breakfast and a visit to Dan of Wheel & Sprocket to get my bike checked thoroughly. A couple of my teammates, Jan & Julie, left about 30 minutes before the start, and I slowly dragged behind them in a draft for the first 25 miles.
I always say that cycling is more of a mental game than physical and part of that held true at the 25 mile rest stop. “Only 50 miles to go”, someone mentioned. At that moment it didn’t seem at all difficult anymore. Drinking 100% gatorade and a much cooler day than before, I got my second wind and found the strength and determination I didn’t seem to have the previous day. From there, I just took off. The second day still took me about as long as the first day, but mostly because of more conservative rest stops. I averaged 15 mph for the entire 150 miles. Most importantly my Mom & Dad were there at Potawatomi State Park at the end among other applauding onlookers. IT WAS SWEET!
This is the most miles I had ever achieved in 2 consecutive days, and I really think there are many other challenges ahead. But for now, I’ll continue in the back of my mind to do more, and keep chugging while my Mom, and other continue their fights against Cancers and other horrible diseases.
Thanks again for trying to keep me cool, determined, and moving in the right direction. You guys are the only tailwind I need.