Tuesday, May 21, 2013

5/19/2013 Long Ride

I had a lot of personal issues at home last night and didn't even think I was going to be able to make this ride today.  Riding many miles with very little training and not a lot of sleep takes a lot out of you physically and emotionally.  So this ride today was as much of a surprise to me as it was to everyone else.

My ride started at 11:57 a.m.  I had my husband take me to the trail head today  because I wasn't sure how far I was going to ride, ( if I did ride far I surely was not going to feel like driving home)  I knew that I needed to really try and push my miles.  I wanted to as well since all of last week I was stuck in doors on the stationary bike.  Honestly who wants to do that all week staring at the same wall?  Anyways, my ride today was very uneventful for the most part.   There were alot of chipmunks that felt the need to dart out in front of me, but of course I slow down or stop and swerve so that I don't hit them.  Unfortunately I seen two of them on the trail yesterday who weren't as fortunate with other bikers and lost there little lives.  :(

My pace was beautiful starting out, I was averaging about 14.7 mph, everything just seemed to be going really well.  It was hot, but there was a slight breeze that made the temperature just right for riding. Of course when I hit the observing deck there were geese waiting for me to hiss and do there little wing flapping dance at me.  I don't know why but those things are vicious and scary to me.  I had intentions of stopping in Orwell, at the gas station as  I usually do, but there was another biker who came up and asked how far I was going today and where I had rode from.   Then from then it was like this game on mode.  Of course I told him I didn't know how far I was going because at that point I still hadn't decided.  My legs were doing great and no pain.  But anyways,  I ride ahead of him for a bit then all of the sudden with his fancy bike and biker attire he takes off like the wind and is gone.  I thought in the back of my head game on.  Now it's not like I knew I could beat him, because his bike of course is 20 times lighter then mine with those super thin tires and of course he was obviously way more of a professional then I am, but I knew I could go as far as, if not farther then him and besides I already had 18 miles under my belt and he was just starting.  So none the least I didn't stop and I kept going and going and going. As I was riding the trail I had a lot of memories of when Kaylee and I had taken this trail and went to Geneva a few years back. Good times, Good times. OF course back then we only did 5 mph.. lol but hey we made it.  I enjoyed a lot of the beauty and the wind in my hair as I was riding, everything is so beautiful and it's just so refreshing to see the beauty God gave us.  Once I got to Roaming shores I passed that  professional biking guy and he waved and I chuckled and kept on chucking along then of course he passes me again.  This game continued almost all the way to Austinburg. I had to stop when I hit roaming shores or maybe it was Rock Creek because I noticed my mileage speedometer tracker quit working, so I had to mess with that for 5 minutes or so to get it back on track.  Then I jumped back on the trail and  passed that guy a few more times taking a break and I just have to laugh because he exerts so much energy riding so fast only to stop and break where I am riding a decent pace, no breaks and just going.  and I just found it hilarious..  and kept thinking to myself they always say the turtle wins the race.  None the least I kept on after that and headed into Austinburg while he stopped at the rest stop and must of headed back to Orwell.

Once I got to Austinburg, I stopped at the store, i had been dying for something cold to drink and an ice cold Pepsi was calling my name. (mind you I don't drink pop)  I grabbed a Gatorade as well and a popsicle and then headed outside on the bench to call my husband and let him know I was turning around.  I was not going to be able to make it all the way to Ashtabula because was a sign on the trail saying the trail was closed in 1.9 miles for construction.  So I sat on the bench for my very first break and enjoyed not peddling for a few minutes.

The ride back was rough, it seemed to be more of an incline on the way back and my speeds were much slower for a good while, the wind was going against me and I was starting to become pretty tired.  When I got to mile 51 I had my first encounter with a bug flying in my mouth.  Let me tell you that is the most disgusting thing to have a wad of bug in your mouth and then worse to adjust your mouth to spit it out.  Then about two more miles in I got another bug in my mouth.  YUCK!  My ride seemed to drag on, I was getting more tired by the minute, my legs weren't to horribly bad, but something in both of my quads started hurting pretty bad.  It felt as though it was bruising like someone had punched me in the legs a few days ago.  I don't know why, or what it was.

When I got to Orwell I was so happy, I knew that it meant I only had about 18 miles left.  So I stopped at the stop sign and called my husband it was about 4:15pm and I told him to meet me at the end of the trail at about 5:30pm.  I knew it was asking myself a lot to ride 18 miles in an hour and 15 minutes with excruciating pain in my quads, but I also know my husband is a procrastinator and is never or time.  so  I figured that it was pretty safe for me to tell him to be there by then.

I really started putting my foot to the pedal after making it to Orwell, I knew I was in the home stretch and there was nothing I wanted more then to be done with this ride.  Don't get me wrong, I was happy and I felt my time was pretty good, but when you ride for hours with bearly any break, you just want to get done and go home eat and relax.  I just kept thinking how hard our ride was last year, and this year is going to be harder because we are doing a lot more miles per day then last year.  Honestly if you haven't noticed, I am pretty nervous about that!  anyways, those last 18 miles no matter how fast I peddled I just felt as though I was going no where, that the trail was never ending.  When I had 8 miles left, I stopped for that good ol porta potty break and to dig in my bag and look for some GU because my body was running on fumes.  I just had no energy left it had been hours since I ate and although I had a pop and a Popsicle in Austinburg, it just wasn't enough to carry me home.  So down went the GU, washed it down with some water and then it was back on my bike.  I was practically in tears the rest of my ride, the pain and bruising feeling in my quads was killing me, and I even called my husband at one point and told him I just didn't know if I could make it by 5:30, but I pushed and pushed. Low and behold I made it to the end of the trail by 5:31pm and my husband and Ray were just getting out of the car!  I was so thankful, and blessed.  When I got off my bike my whole body started shaking, guess from the lack of food and total exhaustion.  But I made it and pretty good time to boot.  Now home to rest and re coop for a day before my next ride.

My ride started at 11:57am and ended at 5:31pm
Saddle time 5 hours 11 minutes 8 sec
Total break time 23 minutes

Thursday, May 16, 2013

May 7th, 2013 Training ride

Today I started at TCTC in Champion, Ohio and caught the Western Reserve Green-way.  My goal today was to hit 40 miles, Boy what was I thinking?

My husband was trying to persuade me not to go so far today, because we had a chance of rain.  LOL I looked at him and said I have a poncho you know!  With only 73 days left of training  I need to get with it rain or shine!  I mean honestly our goal is 80 miles a day for four days, and I am not going to lie, I am a bit skeptical at this point!

Riding on the WRG to me is a bit scary, especially riding solo, with very little cell phone reception, so if I were to get injured or something, I would be screwed.  None the least I put on my big girl panties and ventured out.  I popped in my earphones and headed out on the trail.  The first seven miles for me were rough.  My IT band is still bothering me and my legs were still a bit sore from Mondays ride and the squat challenge that I have decided to partake in as well.

The ride was quiet and very scenic, I did get concerned when I hit the dock because usually there always seems to be a herd of geese there just waiting to attack me, but I managed to escape that aspect.  Lucky me!  There were quiet a few passerby s on the trail this morning, I did my best to say good morning to each and everyone of them!  It's always nice to acknowledge other people and my good morning could of made someones day!  (I highly doubt it, but the thought is there).

I got really famished about an hour into my ride, guess the waffles I scarfed down for breakfast weren't enough.  Thank goodness for that peanut butter sandwich I put in my pack.  I took that out and ate that while I was riding, and honestly, it never tasted so good!  I figured that would hold me over for a while, but of course I was wrong.  I made it into Orwell and had to stop off to the gas station and grab some more liquids and some beef jerky.  Craving that protein!  HA.

I was at about 17 miles and so after I left the gas station I continued on towards Ashtabula.  I told myself that I would only ride to the next stop sign, then that came, and I told myself that again, and then again and before i knew it I was at 22 miles.  I really wanted to keep going, but knew my legs were already tired and my desire to push myself further needed to stop because that is why I had to give up running.  So I stopped and called my husband and my friend Ed to let them know I was at my halfway point and turning around!  I always try to do that because you never know.  There are a lot of crazy people out there or I could just kill over from pushing myself to much (highly unlikely).

My ride back seemed like an endless night mare for a while, My It band, hip and quad (old running injuries) were flaring horrifically!  So my speed declined quite a bit!  When I got to mile 30 the fun things started.. I was bent over on my handle bars, because that helps me to accelerate when I ride and takes some pressure off of my hip and all of a sudden I look down and I yell and almost fell off my bike because there is a snake and he is looking up hissing at me, but it was to late, I was going about 15-16 mph at that point and  I ran him over. I hate hate hate snakes, they scare the tar out of me.

So after getting my heart calmed down,I get back to the observation deck and there before me were the geese... OH crap is all i could think, i put the pedal to the medal and only got hissed at and not chased... ( thank goodness)

Then a few more miles later I see these two bird looking things and as I get closer I notice they were wild Turkeys.  Now mind you, I don't like geese and geese don't like me.  So i was figuring that these turkeys could be like the geese and come after me, So i am clenching my handlebars and trying to pedal as fast as i can because I am scared... But to no avail the turkeys could of cared less about me they were to busy pecking around and minding there own business.  My kind of bird right there!

So I continue on my journey at a slower pace again, my legs hurting more and more and my pace becoming slower reminding me of the days on last years trip with Ashley when it just felt like you couldn't go anymore.  But I kept plucking away.  I hit a big cloud of pollen, it was so thick it looked like little snow or maybe even fairy dust falling all over the place and then as I look up there is this humungous vulture flying in the air and there are flower pedals all over the ground and for a brief moment as I am riding behind this ginormous vulture, I felt like I was in the Hairy Potter movie, or some fairy tale land.. It was so beautiful and amazing. ( I know I need to come back to reality) but seriously it truly felt like a story book moment!  I was rather disappointed that I couldn't capture these moments on camera because my phone camera is broken.  But it was truly amazing.

Nothing else out of the ordinary really happened except for the creeper guy in the car wigged me out a little bit.  But we won't go into that.. all i can say is I kept looking in my rear view mirror waiting for him to drive his car onto the trail and come to get me!  ( yes I am overly paranoid)

Other then that, my ride was long, and one mile felt like 5 because of my injury flare ups.

I sure hope the rest of our group is training, because honestly, I am just not so sure if they understand that 80 miles a day is a lot!  Riding a bike may be easy, but it's  not something you can just hop on your bike and expect to do 320 miles either!

2013 - This years Cleveland to Cincinnatti, Oh Challenge - Riding for Autism

This year we will be biking from Cleveland to Cincinnati, OH in effort to raise money for the Potential Development Program in Youngstown, Ohio.  It's approximately 320 miles and we are hoping to do it 4 days.That means 80 miles a day! We will start our journey Friday July 19th, 2013.

This year not only will be riding our bikes, but also for every goal we hit in our fundraising efforts for the Potential Development Program we will complete one of the task listed below. Most of the tasks will be completed on our bike trip!

1) The first $100 we hit, we will volunteer in our community for 1 hour.  This may include going to our local park and picking up trash, assisting someone, volunteering at a local agency. Etc.
2) $200 Wear a t-shirt for a day on the trip and see how many names we can collect on our shirt
3) $300 we will ride into town find a complete stranger and let them throw a pie in our face.
4) $400 Wear our clothes inside out and backwards for a day
5) $500 the person who puts us at this mark will receive a $50 dollar gift card from restaraunt.com
6) $600 Wear underwear on our head for one mile of our trip
7) $700 Interview a stranger while wearing a red nose
8) $800 Kiss a frog
9) $900 Find a stranger and convince them to let one of us try on their shirt.
10) Once we reach $1000 dollars we will die our hair blue!
11) Any amount raised over a thousand dollars, we will do random acts of kindness on our bike trip. We will not disclose what we will do until we do it!

Jon also decided that in addition to participating in our encouragement rewards, if people donate $250 on his behalf that he will ride at least one entire day wearing fairy wings (unless they break). If you donate $500 on his behalf he will obtain a riding outfit of a color most voted on based on a subsequent Facebook post and wear it for at least half of the entire ride.

We will be post videos and pictures of each task we do as we reach our fundraising goals! The tasks above will be completed by atleast one member of our biking crew!
Everyone who donates will recieve a postcard from us on our trip!  So please be sure to include your name and address so that we can make sure that you receive your postcard!  Thank you so much for your generosity!
We have included some information about the Potential Development program below!
The Potential Development program provides education to children with Autism or challenging behaviors.
Their mission is to provide children with autism and special needs a safe, structured and educational environment with caring, supportive services that give their students the necessary skills and independence to lead a productive life.
Company Overview
The Potential Development Program serves preschool and school-aged children with developmental delays, challenging behaviors and Autism Spectrum Disorder at three locations in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties.
At the Potential Development Program, children are provided the opportunity to learn in a structured environment with individualized educational plans. The extended school year begins in September, running through the end of July and offers onsite access to speech, physical and occupational therapy services.

We believe in developmentally appropriate educational, social and self-help skills that lead to a childs' overall development as well as forming a strong partnership between our parents, caregivers and staff. Our staff is specially trained in the Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication-handicapped Children (TEACCH) and offers a low staff - children ratio in the classrooms.

The agency has a dedicated team of long-term employees and Board members and is recognized as the local leader in helping children and families with Autism and other developmental delays.
General Information
Our Locations:

School of Autism
880 E. Indianola Ave.
Youngstown, Ohio 44502

Potential Development Preschool
209 W. Woodland Ave.
Youngstown, Ohio 44502

PD's Place
885 Howland-Wilson Rd.
Howland, Ohio 44484

Please take the time and go to our website and donate or share our link for this great cause!