Sunday, June 3, 2012

Finisher of the Tour de Cure and last update RFS!!!

Finisher of my first metric CENTURY bike ride!!

I finished my 62 miles in 4 hours and 45 minutes with an average pace of 13mph! That is 100 kilometers which makes it a metric century ride. It was a magnificent day weather wise with start temps at about 55 and finish temps about 70, no wind, and beautiful sunshine.

Overall there were more than 2000 riders for this event, with several hundred opting for the longer rides, like mine. Each ride length had staggered start times beginning at 6 am. My start was at 7am. I do not know the final counts, but for my event length I am estimating about 300 strong. It was marvelous to see whole families out on the 7, 18 or 27 mile rides.

The Tour de Cure is a bike event that raises awareness and of course funds for diabetes research through the American Diabetes Association. Riders with diabetes were treated to special recognition and were asked to wear a red jersey on the day of the event and were known as “red riders.” There were people of all ages wearing red jerseys, including many young children.  Each distance route featured signs and arrows in a specific ride color. The 62 miler was green. I became familiar with most of the route via my training, but it helped to have those arrows, especially when there was a transition to a trail and or a road. It felt so good being out on a beautiful day, riding with so many other folks supporting an important organization’s work. Here are some pictures:

First my food supply!
I ate something every 30 minutes while riding.
Just about to begin at Minnehaha Falls and park (the event location)
Early morning light!
Stopping for a train!
Once over the Mississippi!
Over Mississippi again.
55 miles done and meet up with two of my cheerleaders (Hann and Ellery) 

We rode through Minneapolis via the Minnehaha bike trail and past two lakes (Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun) and on to the Midtown Greenway toward the town of Hopkins. From there we traveled northeast of Minneapolis toward the Mississippi river (which I crossed 5 times yesterday) into Saint Paul up the famous Summit Avenue, back toward the Mississippi River and around Fort Snelling and return to Minnehaha park for a great welcome back!

This ride is one way that I celebrate my own improving health. The National Diabetes Fact Sheet reports that 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes. It is a chronic and debilitating disease. I was at high risk for this disease before I began my own journey to lose weigh and become fit. I have lowered my own risk factors tremendously by losing weight and taking up exercise. My mother and my brother both were or are Type 2 diabetics. I have a nephew with Type 1. The American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure is a way for me to continue to challenge myself as a cyclist and to raise funds for an organization that supports education and research around diabetes.

Crossing through that finish line was an emotional experience. I have come a long way since June 26, 2010. Even two years ago, I would never have dreamed I would have the physical stamina, the fitness, and the perseverance to do something like this event. I am perhaps in the best shape of my life, even though I know I have a good 35 pounds more to lose. But the bottom line is: I did it and I am doing it. I will continue to progress toward my health and fitness goals. I will continue to stretch myself by doing other events that require physical endurance. And you know what: You can, too!

Now onto my last update for the Ready for Summer Challenge!

First of all, I would like to thank, Maren for hosting this challenge. She did a remarkable job of supporting and encouraging all of us challengers through out the last 10 weeks.

1. Weight loss: My goal was to lose seven pounds. I did not quite get there. I started the challenge at 177 and now weigh in at 171. That is a SIX pound weight loss! Overall, I am VERY happy that the scale is moving downward!

2. NSV (Non-Scale Victory): My goal here was to ride that 62-mile ride. I achieved this NSV!

3. Exercise: My three targets were:
  1. I definitely improving my strength and stamina: I regularly do hills now, even though they are not my favorites. I can tell my strength has really improved. 
  2. Cycling distance: My longest ride is now 62 miles with last week’s total of 119 miles! It is barely June and I already have over 1000 miles on my bikes.
  3. Increasing my speed: I boosted my average MPH to 13. 4. Cross training: I stopped my core exercises this last two weeks. I do not consider this a fail though, because my quads, gluts and legs really benefited from wall my core exercises and I could tell yesterday with than long ride 
  4. Nutrition: For the most part I stayed around 1500 calories which I know is why I actually lost weight! 
I am ready for summer!! Thanks, again, Maren. I look forward to checking in with all of you! Have a great and strong week! TTFN, Michele

9 comments:

  1. That IS the bottom line isn't it.

    Congrats on the ride. Weird how turby the Mississippi is up there.

    Surely one of your NSVs by this point is your undoubtedly shapely legs. You cannot cycle through all those miles without developing some lovely gams!

    Really big difference in your current side pics and your week one pic. Congrats! How terrific.

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  2. Hooray! Congrats! Way to go, Michele! WooHoooooo! (Picture me jumping and cheering for you.)

    I love this: "I did it and I am doing it." We have come so far, but we have so far to go. I'm with you.

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  3. Michele - I can hear the jubilation in your writing. That is so awesome - congrats on finishing the race and meeting your goals! You continue to inspire us all! I think you are amazing!

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  4. I am so proud of you! We've both come so far since beginning our blogs so close together a couple of years ago. You are such an encouragement to me. And you look awesome in these pictures!

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  5. Wow! You are a great bike rider. I love to ride bikes but that is one thing I'm not fast at. Bravo sticker to you my friend! Good luck on this new challenge. It should bring us down a few pounds I hope. Good luck and keep us posted :)

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  6. All that training is worth it to get that finish line feeling! You nailed it!

    Congratulations! I know you still have a lot of great things ahead on your journey! Looking forward to see you continue on.

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  7. I'm behind in commenting on blogs. I'm so glad I came back and read this one. Although it's late I just wanted to say congrats on your successful bike ride and ready for summer challenge!! :)

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  8. Michele, Congratulations! Sorry I am late to the party. You did great on your ride and all of your ready for summer goals. I am so impressed. And I love the pics from your race. So happy for you!

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