Sunday, May 22, 2011

Finisher!!

Good Morning!
I am very happy to report that I finished the 27 mile Tour de Cure! The weather made it a tough ride, however, the scenery and the camaraderie among the riders more than made up for the tempestuous weather. The first 13 miles went gently uphill following along a bike path for the first 5 miles and then up and out into the countryside of Rochester, Minnesota (meaning woodlands and farmland). About half way through the course we leveled out onto more or less flat lands with the final 6 miles a gentle down hill ride. The organizers created a great course for a ride teaming with aspiring riders (about 200).

Now the weather. I was lucky to ride about the first 8 miles with just threatening cloudy skies. Well the rain and hard wind started about mile 8 and did not let up for the rest of the course. It began lightly and turned into a torrent of rain. Cars were pulling over because they could not see. All of the riders near me watched out for each other (“Got your back”) which made me feel safe at least as safe as you can be in weather like that. The weather was the greatest challenge, not the course. I heard that we had one inch an hour of rain during that last hour of my ride and believe me it felt like it! I did the route in less than 3 hours. I can tell you that cycling shorts are the best! I may have been soaked but my rear-end was never sore.

As I faced the challenges of this ride, and yes, had thoughts about how crazy I was to be out in that weather, pumping and pumping the pedals, I ruminated. Many of you know that I did this ride as a way for me to celebrate my birthday (BD), a blessed life, a life renewed with greater health and fitness, and a way for me to give back to a worthy cause. I raised $675 from family and friends, including some of you!! Many of us weight loss bloggers are at high risk for developing diabetes, among other things. I know I am. While I rode I thought about the folks with diabetes, like my godson with Type 1, and the challenges they face each day in regulation. For me, I was challenged in the ride by the weather, not by any serious healthy anomalies like diabetes.

This ride was also a way for me to celebrate almost one year of a change in my lifestyle that has brought me many rewards, including a better understanding of the reasons behind my obesity to begin with and of course a weight loss and growing physical stamina and endurance. Most of the time I follow Marion Nestle’s advice: eat less, move more, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and go easy on the junk food. With counting calories, that is it for me.

I will never know the exact time of my ride, because my IPhone, which was tracking my time, was in my pocket. My pocket filled unbeknownst to me with water. And let’s say the iPhone drowned. Shorted out and dead, along with the pictures I took along the route. But, iPhones are replaceable. My health is not. I finished, my phone didn’t.

Which leads me to my last point: we can all do more than we think we can. I NEVER thought I would ride 20 or more miles at a time on a bike. But I can and I do. Each time you push yourself higher than you think you can go you win, your health wins, and your fitness levels win and your loved ones win. You can do it. More than you think. You can. Stay strong my blogger friends. Thank-you so VERY much my friedns for all your encouragement as I prepared for the ride. Now, time to celebrate a BD!!!! TTFN! Michele

15 comments:

  1. Congrats! What a great reason to celebrate!

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  2. Woo hoo for you!!!! I've been waiting for a report on those shorts:)

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  3. Michele, wonderful post after a wonderful ride. I am so impressed. Actually, when you described the course, I was envious - a bike trail and farm land. But the weather! I'm glad you got through safely. Reminds me of when I was in HS marching band and we played a parade in Pennsylvania under similar conditions. It will be a lifelong memory for you, and a point of pride. Sorry about your iPhone!!! But congratulations on a great accomplishment!

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  4. Finisher and total WINNER... that is YOU, Michele!! Congrats on an awesome bike ride/race and Happy Birthday girl! What a gift you gave yourself. I think it's so cool how you traversed through such wet weather and conquered such a feat. It's not small thing. You must feel incredible!!

    I'm sorry about your iphone. That is a bummer, but it can be replaced and YOU cannot. What an amazing example you are.

    God bless...
    ~Margene

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  5. Congrats! Very impressive. It is a good distance (and you have been busy lately on the bike). Riding in the wind is hard, but the rain too? I haven't ever done that and I'm impressed with your grit.

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  6. Michele, I was planning to mention you in my blog today (haven't written it yet). You are indeed, awesome! The 27 mile ride was challenging enough, but then to endure the rain and still finish -- incredible! I wanted to ask, when you ride 27 miles, do you stop for breaks along the way? Finishing in a torrent of rain in under 3 hours leads me to believe that you didn't stop long, if at all.

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  7. Oh Michele - so glad to read that you finished and even in all that rain. Not only did you talk of your accomplishment, but you give us all the drive to keep going in our own journeys.

    CONGRATS and Happy Birthday!!!

    Staying MOtivated MO

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  8. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! I am so proud of you Michele for doing this. You did such an awesome job.
    My itouch bit the dust too, my pocket filled with water. We got an inch and a quarter from the time I left at 7:30 and got home at 10:30. Mike is trying to dry it out and hopefully, just maybe.
    Take care Michele. So what do you have up your sleeve next? Me another 5K walk/jog/run in two weeks.
    Blessings my friend.

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  9. Great job Michele. I knew you'd do great, but wow, having to contend with the rain would've been brutal. Must be that same determination that will get those pounds off.

    Just heard about the deadly tornado is Minneapolis today. Please let us know that you and your family are o.k. Scary stuff!

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  10. Congrats to you!!! You must feel awesome!!!
    Winner, WINNER!

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  11. Awesome - I am really impressed - you inspire me!

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  12. Happy Birthday! What a great way to celebrate. You are such an inspiration, I can't imagine riding all of that way in the driving rain. You have accomplished an incredible feat. I love reading your blog because your determination encourages me and challenges me to push myself harder. Thank you for your wonderful comment my last post, it meant a lot to me.

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  13. Kudos, Michele. I've been out of the loop for a while, but am glad to read that you're doing so well. What a neat birthday gift to give to yourself.

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  14. Wow, you go kiddo!! There's absolutely no stopping you from being the best you can be.

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  15. YOU ROCK! I'm so so so so proud of you! And the memories are WAY better than any pics anyway. YOU have come so far and you inspire me!

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