Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Different Kind of Strength and Endurance

Last week’s Kokopelli Trail ride was very enlightening and much was learned. Things like adjustments to packs, packing things a bit differently, how to keep stuff dry in the rain, what food works and what doesn’t were all valuable lessons. The biggest take away however, was the amount of strength it takes to ride and push a fully loaded bike up steep mountain trails. This is a different world from riding an unloaded bike. It can be very exhausting pushing an unloaded bike up climbs that are too rocky and steep to ride. Pushing that same bike with an extra 20 lbs or so is incredibly hard. After 45+ years of running and biking, it is obvious I don’t have a lot of upper body strength. This was certainly evident during the hours of pushing my bike last week. With over 200,000 feet of climbing in the Divide race, and less than 8 weeks until start, I’m pretty nervous about that.

Sebby and Jamison Two Brave Kids with Strength and Endurance
But today, I want to bring to attention a different kind of strength and endurance. The strength endurance parents must go through when their child is born with a heart defect and must spend months in intensive care. The strength and endurance that doctors and nurses display, as they work day in and day out to save these kids, console parents, and always appear upbeat and positive. These are the real super heroes in my book. As I’ve mentioned in the past, in addition to doing everything I can to finish this race, I am also working with my employer to raise awareness for children with heart disease and money for Children’s National. The money is to help families who have to endure the long painful and expensive ordeal when their kids are fighting for their lives. Again, my employer, Plus3 IT Systems, is matching dollar for dollar up to $2,500 in donations, as well as giving me the time off to embark on this adventure.

With that, I would love for you to read a journal entry from a mother who has two sons that have spent the better part of their young lives in Children’s National, and how much the heroes of Children’s National have cared for the kids and parents alike. She really nails what strength and endurance is all about. I can’t read this without tearing up.

So, I have decided to dedicate this race to Jameson. He will be going in for heart surgery shortly after the start. I’m hoping to meet him before hand and he has made me more determined than ever to finish. When the suffering gets intolerable or the mind just thinks the body can’t go on, I’ll think of Jameson, his family, and all the other kids and families that depend on strength and endurance for not just days, but months and years.

Training this week:

Monday: Rest and recovery from Kokopelli

Tuesday: Cheyenne Mountain High School Club Practice – Forgot my helmet – Duh – Didn’t ride (think I needed another recovery day anyway).

Wednesday: Early morning MTB ride with Sunrise Striders. Start 5:30 am. Rode from home left at 4:45 but took 50 min to get there. Missed the start and had to catch up on the climb up the Chutes. Good hard ride: 2 hrs 42 min, 26.4 miles, 2,490 ft Climbing

The Sunrise Striders
Thursday: Cheyenne Mountain High School Club Practice – Legs were dead so worked with the less experienced riders. 2 hour ride with the kids then another hour on my own: 3 hrs 13 min, 19 miles, 2,677 ft of climbing

Friday: Recovery spin on indoor trainer: High cadence spinning to flush the lactate out of my legs: 1 Hr 2 min, 18 miles, Climbing N/A

Saturday: 3 mile Run with Max the dog, then four-hour ride in horrendous wind. Bob Seeger’s “Against the Wind” played in my head a lot: 4 hrs 9 min, 45 miles, 4,475 ft climbing

Sunday: Long Hilly MTB Ride: Rode for 1.5 hrs on trails up Blodgett Peak, then met Tom & Kevin for 4 hours of fast hard mountain biking with lots of climbing. Once they destroyed me, they went home and I continued to ride for another 4.5 hours, climbing everything I could: 8 hrs 55 min, 67 miles, 9,383 ft of climbing.

Riding with the "Boys"

Total for Week
22 hrs 13 min, 194 miles, 19,918 ft climbing 

Thanks for reading and your support for the kids and families at Children's National

And thanks to SRM Power MetersProCcyling, and Plus3 IT Systems among others for all of your support and positive encouragement!


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