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De-ter-mi-na-tion August 17, 2010

Posted by Pam in MS, Training Rides.
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Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough. -Og Mandino

Training rides can be a tricky thing.  There are so many variables to having a good ride and you just never know from one training ride to the next what will happen.  You don’t know if you’ll wake up feeling strong or a bit out of it.  You don’t know what the weather will be like.  Sure, you can monitor the weather, but you can’t predict when a stray thundershower will pop up or how hot the sun will REALLY feel or when that dreaded headwind will wake up right when you’re on your last reserves.  You don’t know how many of your team will show up.  Flat tires are waiting at each and every turn, or when you least need them…at the bottom of a hill…on the UPside.  Chains can go haywire.  Cables can snap.  You just never know…but determination drives you to make the best of it and to try, try again.

Multiple sclerosis can be a tricky thing.  There are so many variables to having a good day and you just never know from one morning to the next what will happen.  You don’t know if you’ll wake up feeling strong or even if you’ll be able to move.  You don’t know how hot the sun will REALLY feel or how hot it will be even out of the sun.  You don’t know how many symptoms will show up.  Footdrop is waiting at each and every turn, or when you least need it…your busiest day of needing to be mobile.  Vision can go haywire.  Nerves can snap.  You just never know…but determination drives you to make the best of it and to try, try again.

Determination is also what drives us to continue to train, ride and fundraise all to fight MS and its tricky symptoms.

Cycling with Style July 30, 2010

Posted by Pam in Training Rides.
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Audrey Hepburn….can’t get any more stylish than that.  She was such an icon – so glamorous – so graceful – so gracious.  When I’m on a training ride, I envision that I have this same style and panache.  Gracefully pedalling up and over the hills as if they weren’t even there.  Hair tucked neatly away under a long flowing scarf that billows behind me as I ride.  Effortlessly – painlessly – breathing normally.

Well, such is the dream.  I have no such glamour as I mount my bike wearing lycra, funny socks and shoes, water hydration system, gloves (of the protective sort rather than the dainty elegant sort) and not to mention the helmet.  I don’t recall EVER seeing any pictures of Audrey with a helmet and definitely NONE of the items I’ve just mentioned.

As for the ride itself, there is MUCH effort. Some of those routes are just downright painful, but the downhills usually make it all worthwhile.  There is no glamour to my posture or my heavy breathing.  Sometimes the panting is so hard I feel as if a huge dog is chasing me down, but then I catch my snap and remember that it’s only my own huffing and puffing.  I don’t “glisten” as I exert myself…it’s a full blown out sweat…very un-Audrey-like. 

Riding time over and I get back to the starting point to remove the aforementioned “gear”.  Forget about neatly tucked hair under a scarf, it’s actually molded in the shape of the helmet itself!  No glamour there.  I’m a mess for sure, but I’ll be back again and again and again.  Why?  Because my team depends on me to be there and to be in the training trenches right alongside them.  Not only for the team but for all of those with MS that we’re riding for…riding to raise money to fight MS; to provide assistance programs; to educate and raise awareness; to motivate others to donate to the cause; to inspire others to join us. 

We, as a team, may not be a pretty or glamorous sight to behold, but as long as we’re training with these intentions at heart, we’ll be CYCLING WITH STYLE……

Team Training vs Club 100 Ride July 19, 2010

Posted by Pam in Training Rides.
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Deciding what to do when it comes down to scheduling a team training ride versus a ride with other Club 100 members is a tough one.  I bit the bullet this weekend…LITERALLY…and scheduled both.  Not being an avid cyclist this was not an easy decision as I have yet to do back to back days of riding this season.  Now, 20 and 26 miles may not seem like a lot to some people, but I could really feel it the second day.  All of this was compounded by the fact that just Thursday I was wafting away in la-la land to the sound of a drill as a wayward tooth was “canalled” (yes, I’m sure that’s a word). 

Saturday’s event with the Club 100 was wonderful.  We had quite a few riders show up for about a 26 mile ride depending on who you asked.  This route had me reminiscing about the former Bike to the Beach Day 2 route – flat and windy – I could almost smell the ocean!

As a "newbie" - Start of my first MS ride ever - 2001

  We had wonderful support by the Club 100 Committee and the MS Staff complete with Starbucks, great signage, rest stops and the illustrious BikeMS Toyota truck as SAG.  If you’re not part of the Club 100 now, I encourage all to make it a priority for this coming year.  All you have to do is be one of the Top 100 fundraisers and you’re in!  Of course, those last few days waiting for the final tally can be a nailbiter and tends to take on characteristics of waiting for an online auction to end to declare you the WINNER!  This year I proudly wear #95.  🙂

Feeling guilty for ditching my team on Saturday to be coffee’d and taco’d (similar to wining and dining) by Club 100, I scheduled a Sunday “short” ride for the team.  In anticipation of some “newbies” showing up I was really hoping for a 10 miler.  Alas, the newbies seem to be in hiding this year and the good riders showed up, so we were up for a 20 mile ride and my legs really felt it…and so did my tooth!  Despite it all, we had a great ride with wonderful company and a nice breakfast and time for socializing afterwards. 

…..still wondering where all the newbies are!  They should be here by now….