Saturday, August 29, 2009

60 miles and a short brick - great way to start a Saturday

6:45 AM ride start - in some fog - with 17 riders. Coaches Steve, Tricia, Greg and Jenny, Tricia's husband Justin, Jenny's husband Marcus, Wayne, Lindsey, John, Tal, Shelly, Becca (i think), and a couple other guys whose names I didn't catch...

rode out through some heavy fog/mist for the first 30 or so - then it cleared up and turned into a glorious day. got to catch up with some friends I hadn't seen in a while - what else do you get to do when riding for 3 and a half hours or so...

got awesome SAG (Support and Gear) support from Stacey and Abby from the TnT office...they had a guy with them as well - but I am not sure who he was - just someone who wanted to spend the first 4 - 5 hours - early hours of his Saturday riding behind a bunch of folks on bikes I guess...

Followed that with a lovely 10 minute brick - at a good pace. Jenny really pushed me on the return trip in...

had an awesome ride the newly fitted bike really felt awesome....knee started acting up - but not until around 55 miles - which goes to show you how much better it is. My knee used to start bothering me around 15 - 20 miles...thanks again TrySports - looking forward to some time in the mountains this weekend with Sheila, Maggie and Dobhen...and probably a long run at some point.

Thanks everyone for an awesome ride - and for the terrific support from Stacey and Abby...and the guy I don't know....I know - it's bad of me to not know his name - but I kept forgetting to ask.

Most of the folks out today were doing their last long ride before the Patriots Half IronMan in two weeks...they're gonna rock it - they all did awesome.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Event # 20 half way there. Lake Norman Sprint Tri Aug 23 700 AM

Early wake up call after getting no sleep for the past few days. Butterflies all weekend due to the number of events and the fact that if I were successful I would reach the halfway point in terms of races - and thanks to all of you, nearly halfway in terms of my fundraising goal. In a little less than 4 months..... Half way in about a third of the time!! You are all absolutely incredible. Thank you all.

So the day started off well. All packed and prepped after multiple bag checks the night before and readied my typical pre-race breakfast. Oatmeal (lower sugar maple and brown sugar) and an Ensure shake (yes - ensure - a good friend turned me onto them for races - thanks johnny Murdock) and the combination rocks. 300 good well balanced calories from the Ensure shake and 150 calories from the oatmeal. Lots of water the night before and on the way to the event...

6:30 AM All set up in transition and body marked (where they write your race number and age on you) a few tunes on the iPod to get in the mood and right frame of mind...some Skynyrd, some AcDc, some tunes from the Rocky IV soundtrack, some Stones... met Ben - a first time triathlete who was excited and anxious....just like me - despite the number of races done, the whole getting ready thing can be a bit daunting. Chatted with a few folks in transition, caught up with Ruben, Tal, Scott - some other TnT folks out doing the race today. Got to see Abby at chip pick up...Abby is great - always a smile on her face and cheer in her voice - despite dealing with stressed out triathletes...get to finally meet Theoden Janes, blogger for the Charlotte Observer. He and I have been communicating over the past few months - he's looking for a comeback after getting a flat tire at Latta in June - and is pumped!

The venue and weather are perfect. The water - a bit warmer than bathwater...and at 7:02 we hop, well wade in the water. Wave 1 is already out there crossing the swim course...I'm in wave 2 waiting to get going.

Gun goes off at 7:04 and away we go in wave 2. Lake swims are different than pool swims...and I still need practice...and I realize that early on. See the big difference is three fold....

1. the water is murky and doesn't taste so good (neither does pool water - but it is "relatively
2. there are swimmers in front of you, besides you, in back of you competing for the same space versus a pool where you swim in relatively straight lines
3. there are no lane markers - so you need to "sight" or pop your head up out of the water every couple of strokes so you make sure you are on course, versus swimming out to sea...or the wide open lake in this case

I get through the swim and see Abby Miller, John McLean and Sheila - right there as I head out of the swim...and then Todd Spanish - a neighborhood friend who did the same race on Saturday...comment to Todd "I hate swimming" - his response "well you're done - get on with it"..very true....

I jog the 1/10 mile across the pavement to transition and get on the bike. Up on and out easily and on the course. Make the first turn and I know the hills we are about to face in the first 4 miles, so I shift and adjust accordingly. Up and over the hills and a quick turn onto some more level pavement. Pick it up a bit - but not by shifting...the new bike fit is accommodating my "picking it up" without having to crank much harder....thank you Teelo and TrySports - again.

As I make my way over the 13.5 miles of the shortened (due to construction - not me cheating) bike course I continue to pick it up a's shorter, the run is still only a 5K - so let's see what is left after the 4 other events I've done since Friday night.

Transition to the run smoothly and relatively easily, strap on the Karhu shoes and nice breathable Craft hat - get the race number on and away I go. Up the hill to the run I pass Sheila who is telling me to "go, go, go Sean" I think - what am I doing...and then I remember...I am doing this for so many others who cannot, those who have not been able to, who are battling something more than mere fatigue in their legs. As I crest the hill - I hear "Go Team" again and again...grab some water and I am off...not fast mind you - but I am off.

Make my way across the run course. Mile 1 down, mile 2 down...1.1 to go. Pick it up - and pass a few folks - and get passed myself...but it's not about me - point to point, A to B - several times over today.

As I make the next to last turn to the finish - Todd is there - cheering me on....Todd who woke up with fever and chills the day prior and did the race and got up at 4:30 AM to volunteer today....Abby who also got up - probably at 4:00 AM to volunteer and help check folks in...Lex Erwin - a TnT Alum who raced today and is done...I am inspired...pick it up a bit....head to the last turn...there waiting for me is John McLean - fellow TnT Alum who is doing Florida IM in November who yells at me...."pick it up it's not like you've done anything else this weekend" - while in jest - he is right....compared to those who are battling blood cancers, those who have battled and lost - this is I do pick it up to get to the finish line. I get to stop this challenge for the day in about 200 yards....those patients, families have to battle day after day.

While official times are not in yet - Sheila estimated about 1:28, which translates into approximately a 17 minute swim (on par) a 41 minute bike (tracked with my Garmin (I love that thing)) and a 24 minute run (again thanks to the Garmin) - adding a couple minutes for the two transitions...

Not my best times - but not my worst. But that doesn't matter....I have been out there, I have brought attention to the mission, WE have raised almost $16,000 over the course of 4 months.

I have completed, through your support and belief 20 events, half of what I set out to do over 12 months in 4 months time. We have reached the 40% mark - or close to it - in terms of fundraising in 4 months...ONE THIRD OF THE WAY in terms of the 40 in 40 calendar.

I could not have done this much thus far without the support of you, my family, my friends, my colleagues, your friends, the TnT Team, the folks from LLS, my supportive, appreciative and understanding wife Sheila (and our dog Maggie who gets left out of long runs at this point due to the heat and my schedule) and our cat (Dobhen who gets woken up at crazy hours as she sleeps between my feet).

I am inspired, energized revitalized to get to 40 and beyond in terms of races and more importantly $40,000 for the LLS by the time I turn 40 in May.

Next week is an "off week" no races, just training...September holds for right now 3 more events and at least one biggie in October. I could not have made it here without you - I will not make it without your support, kind words and friendship - and good natured ribbing - but I will keep pressing on.

Today's event, the halfway mark is in memory of Bill Janov, or grandpa Bill, as Sheila's nieces and nephew knew him. Bill was my sister-in-law's step father, who a little over two years ago was diagnosed with Leukemia. Sheila and I went to visit him in the hospital while we were out in the Asheville area - for a TnT event (Fletcher Flyer) that she was participating in. In his words "I feel great but my blood work sucks" those 8 words were a testament to the challenge and battle that Leukemia patients suffer and deal with every day. You never know. We can work for a cure, or cures, we can fight the good fight - but we need a stronger, better more capable army to win. Sadly, Bill passed no more than a couple months later...full of life, full of piss and vinegar (as my dad would say - although...not 100% sure what that meant besides fight and determination) and a die hard attitude that he was sure he could beat this.

As I reflect on the events of this weekend, 5 races in 38 hours, a bit tired, but exhilarated, energized and determined (hell bent for leather - if you will) for the next event and fundraising threshold...I can only recall and reflect on the battles so many have endured, hundreds of thousands each year who are diagnosed with blood cancers...some who win, some who lose those battles. So many families, friends, colleagues who have been stricken. All ages, genders, is indiscriminate.

I appreciate your support thus far. I am humbled by your friendship and belief. I strive to do more.

Thank you. Go TEAM!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Event # 19 5K trail Run Challenge at US National Whitewater Center, Saturday August 22, 8:30 AM

Great race and a somewhat technical course. Sheila came out to run as well after a grueling workout with her trainer yesterday. After last nights 1, 2 and 3 mile runs in Mooresville and LKN Tri tomorrow, this was going to be an easy recovery run with some great scenery at an amazing facility.

The US National Whitewater Center is an Olympic training center for kayakers and is also open to the public with biking and running / hiking trails, a rock climbing wall, a ropes course, top notch restaurant and conference center. Also - some of the coolest man made rapids - right here in our backyard.

But enough of the PSA. TnT was represented with Kelly Alley, Stacey Irwin - Kelly's husband Roy, Jackie and Meredith (I believe)...all TnT folks - and most if not all TnT Alumni. Great turnout for the races too...probably close to 50 - 75 for the 10K and the same number for the 5K.

The course and run were as described, a trail run around the USNWC grounds - somewhat technical and for the most part well marked. The water stop which was supposed to be at mile 2...was closer to 2 1/2 which gave those of us who were looking forward to being done (myself included) some pause...another mile? Good grief...but it wasn't it was really more like 3/4 of a mile. Which makes a difference.

I got to talk briefly to a newscaster from News 14 in the Carolinas - and I am going to try and leverage their focus on local events ( as many of the upcoming events are local and the ones in the future will be too) and stories to get additional exposure for LLS and TnT and their mission. Will let you know how that pans out.

Great way to start the day. For those of you in the Charlotte area - the USNWC is a hidden gem, right in our backyard with a little bit of something for everyone. For those of you who visit Charlotte, you should really check it out if you have the time.

Off to finish final prep for tomorrow - recheck my Tri-bag several times, get breakfast and fluids ready to go - and try and get some sleep, which has been hard to come by these past few days for some reason....not sure why.

As an update - the knee / leg seems to be doing better. I've been doing R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to help it along until I can get in to see the sports Doc - if need be.

I also get to try out my new "bike fit" tomorrow on the course, which Teelo at TrySports did an amazing job on. The bike is a bit more "aggressive" in its geometry now, which gets me down into a more aerodynamic position and adds some wattage to my pedal cranking power. Not that I am going to hammer the course tomorrow, but it'll be a great test for it - at a longer distance. Despite flying somewhat in the face of the "nothing new on race day" mantra - it is not a brand new bike, not a completely different geometry - just a better fit. Kinda like wearing a different or more well suited pair of shoes, or tri suit versus the same old same old.... famous last words.

Today's 5K is dedicated to Sara Behnke. A good friend and neighbor (across the lake) who is also a published author( and blogger ( who was diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma a little over two years ago. She is two years cancer free - and is an indomitable spirit and great person. She and her husband Dave and their two children keep me motivated each day to take on another event and further the mission of LLS.

Off to prep and a little more ice. Tomorrow will be #20...halfway - but the battle continues for so many more who are just beginning and can't measure their progress in terms of halfways of almost done.

Go Team!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Events #16, #17 and #18 Miles of Mooresville Friday August 21

As Steinbeck said...."The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." Things didn't really go awry, maybe a little askew. More on that in a moment

Miles of Mooresville is a really fun event, actually 3 wrapped up into one night. This was the last of the series for this year. It is comprised of a one mile run, followed by a two mile run, followed by a three mile run. Followed by a couple free adult beverages, supported by great volunteers and live music at the finish line.

Each run is separated by a 10 - 20 minute break depending on when you finish. The plan was - as discussed with Sheila - go out and use the one miler to warm up, pick it up on the two miler and if I felt good and wanted to - push it for the three miler. But within reason - as I have a couple more events this weekend...

So - we gather at the start for the one miler. They ask us to stage ourselves based on our estimated minute per mile times....sub seven minutes, seven minutes, eight minutes, etc...So I line up with the eight minute folks. Remember - easy the first run..

Off we go down main street in Mooresville, turn past the fire station and I am like "why am I breathing so hard? I am with the eight minute folks...Now I know I haven't run much after work in the heat and humidity we had tonight - but COME ON... through the hose that is spraying us, past the water stop turn the corner and head towards "home"...still really panting up a I should only do two of these runs tonight.

As we turn into the finish area up the slight I know why I am breathing so hard...6:30, 6:31, 6:32...I cross in 6:45 OOPS. Slightly askew.... So much for nice and easy. Thankfully we have some time to rehydrate and cool down.

Two miler starts to Hip Hop Hooray, Ho, Hey, Ho...a little Naughty by Nature to send us off. Kinda funny...So I really do rein it in this time...and do the two miler and then the three miler... keeping them closer to the 8 minute per mile pace. Get to chat with some folks along the way and run into a guy from the gym - who's training for some crazy 24 hour run around a lake - like 24 hours of running in 1.5 - 2 mile circles...Chat with a retired marine who wants to get in under 25 minutes (on the three mile course) he's well on his way to doing just that. Talk to a group of folks who are doing Chicago in October, first marathon for all of them...this course is perfect training for it as it has comparable elevation and declines as Chicago...although running this 20 times might be a bit tedious.

Finish the three miler to Sheila at the finish waving one of my "40 in 40" t-shirts to bring me in.

These three races are dedicated to Michael Wren, our honor patient from the White Lake Half IM last year. His spirit and energy when we met him reminded me of the spirit and energy around this event. He's a great kid - full of life that really motivated us all to do our absolute best. Every stroke in the water, every crank of the pedal every step along the course.

Also ran decked out in my Karhu and Craft gear...loved it. Shoes felt great, hat was very breathable and light - shirt and shorts - although drenched at the end were perfect.

Total running time 45:52

Great event and very well run thanks to the Mooresville Runners Foundation, Queen City Timing and all the fans, supporters, volunteers. I will definitely look for it again next year.

Next up - Trail run and the Whitewater center tomorrow AM

Go TEAM!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Malady (potential) #1...but not major

I seem to have lost all the hair on my wait - that's not it.

Weird knee pain - mostly when I cycle. Something similar happened last year at White Lake 70.3 on the bike around mile 45...just kind of a weird tweak. Now it has migrated to across my kneecap. my best guesstimate (and no, I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV, nor did I sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night) is twofold:

1. stretching
2. bike fit

I have Soas / IT band tightness related to the fact that I "am not that strong a stretcher" (translation - I skimp on it when I know I need to do more of it) and a long lived back injury. I also have not had my bike refitted since I bought it two years ago...and with more cycling, and better efficiency/training, the geometry of the bike needs to change with your body. The seat needs to be adjusted, the handle bars, etc.

So - I have a bike fitting scheduled for Thursday and have reached out to my favorite Sports Doc, Josh Kollman...and have added another day of rigorous stretching/foam roller work to my weekly regimen.

Will let you know - but it will NOT derail the 5 events this weekend....which will get me to 20 events out of the 40.

Off to stretch....and ice.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

nice 37 mile ride with good folks

Got up at 6 AM - yes - on Sunday to go ride 37 with a good friend and TnT Coach Kevin Collins, who is training for the Florida IM - that's a full Ironman - to you and me. Like the one they have out in Hawaii (seeing as they rarely televise IM's I figured that may resonate with a few folks)

Kevin is also raising funds for LLS, all the while training to swim 2.4 miles (yikes!) bike 112 (longer then I've ever ridden) and run a full marathon (holy cow). Kevin's donation site is here:

Any support you can provide is greatly appreciated. As you are well aware - no dollar amount is too small and every dollar helps. Kevin has helped me train for all of my TnT events and has been a great ride organizer during the "off season". He's a great guy working for a great cause.

Good ride this morning, got to ride with Sheila and a handful of Kevins cronies...more were joining them later as they were doing the 37 mile route twice today...yes twice.

Got caught in a bit of a rain storm heading out - but thankfully it was when we were climbing the hills. So we took a bit of a break around mile 12 to wait out the storm. Hard to ride in the rain safely, as your glasses fog up and get covered in rain and you tend to lose your braking ability. That and my whining about the rain is REALLY distracting.

Took us a little over 2 hours, with stops and due to my slow -pokiness but it was a great way to start Sunday. Especially as it is a rainy dreary day - I think I need a nap.

Thanks everyone for your support. Please consider supporting Kevin as well.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Event #15, Kreuger Memorial Splash and Dash Saturday August 15

So when I looked up the start time last night - I asked myself, "self - what are you thinking?" as it had a 7:30 start time, which meant a 6 AM wake up...but still - that's pretty normal of late. So much for a little extra beauty rest.

Splash and Dash was a 400M swim followed by a 5K run. Great event at the Harris YMCA here in Charlotte. Well attended and very well run.

Ran into a former grad school friend, John Templeton and his wife Erica - Erica was doing the race - and told me not to pass her in the pool. I reassured her - starting a few spots ahead of me - that she would be well out of the pool by the time I did my first lap. She pretty much was.

Also ran into my friends from TrySports, Jenn Teipen and Cody. Got to show off my new Karhu running shoes. Saw a few folks from work too - out with their families - as there were a couple of varying distances for the kids to do as well. I saw Kristin Meehan and her husband Dennis - and Kurt Kitterman and his family.

The swim was a pool swim - 8 laps then out to transition to strap on the shoes. Had a good swim - right about in line with my estimated time that they used for seeding the swimmers. And as always - graceful and coordinated - as I was putting on my shoes, I managed to fall down. Right in a nice spot of mud. So - that will look nice on my bum as I head out to run.

Get out on the course and it starts out pretty flat - legs feel good - even after a 17 mile bike and 1.5 mile brick yesterday, so I try and pick it up. Shoes feel great...light and still have the new running shoe feel...thankfully not smell. I managed to forget my race belt, which usually holds the race number you wear during these types of events, so I am running and trying to fasten the bib to my shorts with safety pins. Did I mention I am graceful and coordinated? Yep - managed to stick myself only a half dozen or so times - with each pin.

Course was hilly and I got a bit turned around on the back half - and couldn't really gauge where I was in the course. Each hill made me think, we get to climb back up that, but with only a half mile to go - I finally recognized where we were in relation to the start/finish. So much for orientation.

Saw John Templeton and his kids again, he told me to finish strong, so I tried to pick it up again. Turn the corner - hit the straight away to the last turn into the finish area and cross the line. Not my best 5K time - but adequate...I finished

Good event, very well run by the folks at the Y and I believe the organization is called Try to Tri. Really good turnout - even with the kids events. I did a few laps afterwards on the track - and some of these kids were kicking my butt. Good thing they're not in my age group :-)

Good day - fun event. Go Team!!!

Swim 7:44
Run: 23:19

Up Next:
Miles at Mooresville 1 mile, 2 mile and 3 mile run - Friday night
5K trail run at the Whitewater Center - Saturday AM
Lake Norman Tri - Sunday AM

Sunday, August 9, 2009

So what do you think?

In two weeks, I am contemplating what I consider 5 events....

Miles of Mooresville (approx 6 PM 8/21), offers a one mile, two mile and three mile run -of which I can do all three...and then on Saturday - a 5K trail run (approx 8 AM on 8/22) followed by the Lake Norman Sprint Tri on Sunday (approx 8 AM on 8/23). So from 6 PM on Friday to (finish time on Sunday of approximately 9:45 AM) I will have completed 5 different events, albeit not "endurance" events...does this count as 3 events (mooresville, Whitewater Center and LKN Tri) or 5? Whatcha think?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Event #14 - Y2Y Metric Century Saturday August 8

What a great ride! Got to ride with the fantastic four +1, Sheila, Mike Feretti (TnT Coach), Cat Reid and Cheryl Ryan PLUS Jim Russell a neighbor here in the 'hood. Not having ridden much over 40 in the past month+, I was a bit nervous about my ability to cover the 62 without much cursing...but it was awesome.

I met a woman who was out on her first organized ride, after buying a bike two weeks ago. She bought a bike to ride with her husband (awwww) and did awesome.

We started out riding together and around mile 24, at the second rest stop...

Side note - organized rides like this are great. Every 10 - 15 miles they have rest stops with food (cookies, oranges, bananas, water, Gatorade, etc) and porta potties... I make sure I partake of everything at these stops - foodwise. And its a great opportunity to talk to other riders.

So - after the second rest stop - I got a little spunky and started to pick up the pace - a mini breakaway. I wanted to see if I could pretty much sprint the 15 miles to the next stop. So I picked it up and was having fun...a little music in one ear (only one, so I could hear traffic and other riders) kept me moving along. The lovely smell of poultry farms helped me pick up the pace even more - pee-yew ...those birds are smelly...

Jim Russell caught me about 10 miles into my little sprint...he's an amazingly strong rider - he put me to shame - but we rode together for the rest of the 30 miles to the end.

As I was riding, I was thinking about who I could dedicate this event to. I haven't done much of that for the first 13 - but with all the honor patients and honor heroes with TnT - there are so many to honor with these events. At the end of the day - raising awareness for these folks, their families and the challenges they face - and the money for the LLS and their mission is what this is all about. It's not about me. So - going forward I will be dedicating each event to an honor patient or hero.

Today's ride was in honor of Cat Reid's sister, Page Stanton. Cat had a great ride today, battling a nagging tweak (won't call it an injury) in her leg but she's a trooper and powered through. Cat is an amazing person who raised nearly $12,000 while training for Tahoe with us. So - to Cat and her amazing work, and in memory of Page, whom I never met, but knowing Cat - was no doubt an equally amazing and wonderful person - today was for you.

So at the end of the day - or the ride - about 3:45 and change - we packed up and headed out. Great ride, great friends.

Next week - a duathlon of some sort - either a swim and run - or a bike and all depends.

Thank you all. Go TEAM!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Event #13, Go For Blood Bike Ride & 5K....and some misdirection

After a drought in terms of races in July, between races / event schedules and work - August got started off in the right fashion.....30 - 35 mile bike ride in and around Waxhaw, to benefit the Union County American Red Cross - best of all with my wife, Sheila. With the way work has been for the past several weeks, getting home at midnight or later - working weekends, etc...I was itching to get back out and get another event under my belt...

With the way fundraising went through July - I was pumped to get out and of today, with a few matching gifts outstanding, we are over $13K! A good chunk of that came from a friend and fellow TnT Alum Julie Jones and her 3rd grade class at Cotswold Elementary...Julie was training and fundraising for an event and could not participate, she transferred her donations to the 40 in 40 - almost $1,800!!! $13K Thank you all so very much.

So we get to the venue - Cane Creek Park in Waxhaw (site of event #19 - Cane Creek Tri in September) and they're lining up the riders, we're a tad tardy. Tardy??!?!? I don't Feel Tardy.

Anywho - so we register and head out. The road markers for the ride show a 30 mile route and a 60 mile route, so I'm thinking, OK - it's only 30, not big deal....

As we ride along, we pass a few folks and then get passed by two of the is Dr Josh Kollman - best Sports Dr in the CLT - as far as I am concerned. So I yell out to him, and he and his buddy pull up - and we chat for a bit..he's training for IM Florida - as are Kevin Collins and John McLean, TnT coach and TnT Alum respectively...and Josh mentions, "I just go back from France...I rode a stage in the tour... A STAGE IN THE TOUR - as in Tour de France...holy schnikies! Will post more once I find out which stage exactly - but Josh rocks...he's the best guy and Dr...anywho - so they peel off

We keep going cruising along, nice and easy..get to rest stop #1 around mile 15...grab some chow and head back out - we're riding along and I'm goofing around (I know shocker) and we are just cruising...the we see a SAG (Support and Gear) truck, and they wave us down, around mile 18...after some back and forth, we realize we missed our turn, about 3 miles back - right about the time I was goofing around...oops.

So back we go - but before we get going, Sheila aka the Cat Whisperer, notices a little gray tabby kitten alongside the road...meowing adamantly that it needs to be picked the SAG truck comes up and they agree to take it with them back to the start/ we were MEANT to go those 3 extra miles, to save a kitten...good to know.

We make it back to our turn, and chat a bit with the folks there who were helping other riders not miss the turn, and get on our merry way....

About 25 miles in, we get passed by a pace line - a group of riders, in a straight line, using drafting (blocking of the wind) to speed along. When they get about 200 yards ahead of us, I decide, I'm feeling pretty good...I'm gonna go catch them - they're doing about 22 off I go, imagining the Tour - catching a breakaway...and I am actually gaining on them, 100 yards, 75, 50...and then I try to shift and mess it up...they crest a hill and off they go - not to be caught...stupid me...why shift when I am gaining on them? Oh well, so I spin back and rejoin Sheila and we continue on.

As we get to about the 30 mile mark, I am doing the math in my head, we've got about 5 - 10 more to go, due to my little detour to unexpectedly save the cat...probably closer to 10...

This little stretch of road was pretty hilly, and as Sheila said, no one told us these hills would be so hilly. But we make it to just shy of the 35 mile mark and again - another pace line...this time I'm like - nope - not going to do it. But I'm still feeling good and my competitive and curious nature creeps up..can I actually catch them? They're about 1/4 mile ahead of us by now.

So I figure - why not try. So I shift now, better planning this time and jump on the pedals. Start hammering pretty hard - not gaining yet, but wait, I start to, and then some more, a little more, shift again and gain more...they crest a hill - but I decide to keep going...about 3/4 of a mile into it - I catch the back wheel of the last rider - and let out a little whoo hoo! The last rider turns around and is like "who's back there?"
Right where the marker is on the pic where I caught them

As I chuckle to myself and give myself a little pat on the back, I turn around to rejoin Sheila...

So - last few miles to the end, we cruise along and just enjoy the ride - 2 and a half hours later we return...some of the most fun 40 miles I've done in awhile- I got to ride with Sheila and really enjoyed the ride. Sheila had an awesome ride after not riding, we figured, for almost a year.

Go and check out the snacks at the end - and the volunteers tell us the kitten, which they brought back (YEAH!) has been picked up and passed around by several kids who were their cheering on their parents. Looks like it will be adopted right there. Very cool.

Looks like the folks who organize the event are considering adding a 10K and/or a half marathon to the events schedule in the next year or so. Something to keep in mid for all those folks training for a Full IronMan in the fall - a half marathon, in early August....seems like perfect timing - depending on your keep your eyes open for that.

All in all an amazing day. First event back after the July hiatus, and knowing we've raised over $13K was truly all rode with us this morning.

Thanks so much - next event is next weekend - Y2Y metric century in and around Weddington (south of Charlotte). Looks like Cat Reid and Cheryl Ryan, Tahoe riding partners will be doing it as well.

Go Team!