Monday, May 21, 2007

HRIDE: Week 13/14+ Training Report

I confess that I have started to lose track of weeks as training time has been flying by this month. Since my last post I have reached my training peak for the event and can honestly say that I have surprised myself in what I am now capable of.

My last three weekend training rides have been:

May 5th: Sandy Hook NJ - 85 miles
(40 miles of which we rode in fast pacelines on the flat coast)
May 12th: East Clinton NJ - 40 mile hill climb extravaganza
(500 feet more elevation in climbing than the 100 mile Tahoe course, crammed into 40 grueling miles)
May 19th: Rockland County NY - 60 miles with hill repeats included, in the rain

*Not only have I completed these rides, but I have graduated to
comfortably riding them with the "fast group". Wahoo!

I should also note that my progress over the past month would not have been as great without teammates and coaches, and most importantly, my riding partner, Kurt, aka Hollywood - a teammate who lives just two blocks from me in Brooklyn. Having someone to commit to work out with, travel to rides with, compare progress with, complain to and ride with while watching each other's backs on the open rode, has made me a stronger and more confident rider that I could be on my own.

So, basically, I am ready - which is an awesome way to feel as I enter into the "taper" part of training (more on that in my next update). It might actually be more appropriate to say, I am kicking ass. So stay tuned for my story about America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride. Tahoe, here I come....

Sunday, May 20, 2007

HRIDE: A Note on Fundraising

In February when I signed up for Team in Training and committed to riding the Tahoe Century, fundraising was the most daunting of the many challenges associated with this undertaking. How would I raise $5,000 dollars? With a lot of faith, I set out asking friends and family for their support and generosity, hoping to help raise awareness of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's mission, while sharing my personal story of growth through the process.

I have been awed by the generosity and support that has returned from my letters. As I write this post I have
$4,745.00 in my TNT donation account, an amount that once seemed an impossible goal. Knowing this money will be received so gratefully by a society that makes a difference in people's lives, I am truly at a loss for words. As I type, I keep deleting my sentences because they don't seem to be appropriate enough expressions of my gratitude. So I will simply say, Thank You to all of you who have given, and know that this comes from the bottom of my heart.

It has been a lot of work to raise awareness and money, but it has been fun too. Sharing my story and asking for support has lead to corresponding with so many great people from my past, now a part of my present again. There have been days when I am greeted with mail that holds checks and letters,
wishing me luck from far away, and makes me feel thankful and loved, over and over again. And just last week, Brad and I, with the help of our friend Steve Plant, hosted a Wine and Food tasting party to which many of our Brooklyn friends came with great appetites and donations.

To leave you with a laugh, below is an email I received from a friend in Portland that Brad and I met last year in Mexico - by far the most humerous of ways that funds have been given...


I have finally picked a new organization to receive the money from the auction of the infamous Chenis:

Below is an email from a friend who I met in Mexico last year. She's raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as attaining a personal goal of participating in a 100 Mile Century bike Ride around Lake Tahoe. The Chenis' love spreads far...

I've made the donation in Jaqueline's (the winning bidder) and my names. Good luck Heather on your trip and happy cheeto eating!


And because I can't say it enough - to all of you, Thank You.

Love, Heather

Friday, May 11, 2007

Belated Birthday Tales

This past Sunday, May 6th, Brad reached the ripe old age of 31. Yep, pretty darned unexciting. The day itself however was not short of activity.

Brad and I have been in a chaotic and sometimes stressful phase lately, the result of many things going well for us and keeping us very, very busy. So being the newly hyper-productive people that we are, we made the most of May 6th. After a bike ride and the usual morning dog walk we had brunch at our favorite spot, Cousin John's, and then strolled the neighborhood while drinking more coffee and window shopping. In the afternoon I joined the Dark Rainbows for a hockey game. I had resigned from my spot on the team this year to tackle cycling instead, but a number of girl players were missing so I got to fill in and get a little taste of the old times with Brad - oh, and we won.

The real excitement came later that evening when we headed south in Brooklyn for Brad's Bowlerama-Dama-Ding-Dong. We met friends in Sunset Park, Brooklyn for what are rumored to be the city's best tacos at Tacos Matamoros (they were deeeeeelicious, and only $1 a taco!) and then, we bowled. At Big Apple
Bowling & Fun Center @ Melody Lanes, 10 of us drank endless pitchers of beer and bowled our hearts out while wearing matching shirts. Nothing like a little team spirit, and I just couldn't resist making them when Brad sent around this work of art:

I bowled a whopping 33 on my third game and the whole event could best be described as rowdy. It was wonderfully fun. You can see all 429 photos from the night here. Happy Birthday Brad!

Friday, May 04, 2007

HRIDE: Week 12 Training Report

Yesterday marked the beginning of the last month remaining until I ride 100 miles in Tahoe. I am finally feeling like this is a realistic feat. April was slow, but May training is off to a great start. I am now logging 100 miles or more on my bike each week and am no longer saddle soar! My teammates told me this day would come but it was hard to believe it until now.

This past weekend, in beautiful weather, I joined the team for a 55 mile ride upstate in Rockland County. There were some tough hills to climb, but the open road has taught me why uphills are worth it - downhills! The Tahoe course will be a blast if not for the scenery, then for the feel of racing down after several grueling climbs up. I also attended not one, but two 6am team rides this week during which I am now working out for an average of 25 miles. This is what it feels like at 7:30 AM when you and your fellow riders have just raced each other around the park on the heaviest gears you can handle.

No pain, no gain - right?

My fund raising goal is also now within sight. At this point I have raised almost $4,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This too is something I was told would happen but had a hard time believing until now. Just over a thousand dollars and a few more weeks to go!

She Smiled the Whole Way Home

Spring is finally here!