Tuesday, October 11, 2011

#221 I Would Bike 100 Miles

Three years ago I did my first century and first event with the Leukemia Society’s Team In Training (TNT) Program. Sunday, September 23, I completed my second century and second event with TNT. The team set off in the dark at around 7:30 a.m. from Three Oaks, Michigan (we couldn’t see much. Watch out for the manholes!). Saturday and Monday were fairly nice, even sunny, days. Sunday? RAIN. It rained pretty much the entire ride.

By the last rest stop we realized that the 100-mile ride was turning into something longer – eventually 106. Six extra miles may not sound like a lot, but when it’s cold and raining, it is. Luckily, the sun finally came out the last five miles or so and I was pretty much dry by the finish line (the high winds helped too).

We did have one accident during the ride. Seventy-three year-old Lois went down mid-way thorough the ride and had a concussion. She went to the hospital in South Bend and was released a short time later. She now wants to ride her remaining miles with the team to complete her century mileage. We plan to do that later this month. What a lady!

At mile 80 we stopped at one of the rest stops and I had a snack - an Uncrustable. The coaches told us not to eat anything on the ride that we've never eaten before in case our stomach didn't get along with it. Well, I've eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before, so didn't think anything of it. Until my stomach started hurting and I had stomach cramps for the next 30 minutes. I had put an extra Uncrustable in my back pocket for later, but trashed it. Maybe the nutrition information should have been a warning - 350 calories, 150 calories from fat. A long list of ingredients I couldn't pronounce. Peanut butter and jelly sounds so simple...

Luckily my stomach recovered by the end of the ride. They had a free pasta dinner, which I took advantage of: spaghetti and salad with lots of fixins. I then proceeded to eat four small bags of Doritos, Fritos, Lays and Cheetos. And my granola bar. And an apple. "I can't stop eating!" We finally took showers and ate dinner at Redemak's.

It was a long, physically draining day, but a great one. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you train (thanks coaches!), when you have the support of a team and when you have a real purpose for what you do. For some it was also an emotionally draining day. Most everyone on the team has their own story of a friend or family member affected by leukemia. Some beat it, some did not. We ride to celebrate those who made it, as a tribute to those who didn’t, and to help raise money to fund new medical procedures for those who still struggle or will be affected in the future.

I am so proud of the Apple Cider team! What a great group of people! Our Indiana/Illinois/Southern Ohio TEAM of 54 people raised over $115,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We also had a great group of coaches and mentors. If any of you have ever thought about doing a TNT event, I highly recommend it. It will change your life! And you, in turn, will change the lives of many others.


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