August 21st - WFRT Update

It's 6 days until the big ride. I have come down with some sort of sinus infection and sore throat so I am spending today in bed, attempting to kick it out before it gets worse. I missed the scheduled 60 mile "on your own" ride this weekend, but I logged 96 miles last week training. I am 7 miles from having ridden 1000 on the new bike! I'll post a pic when I ride next with my new odometer reading :)

Last Saturday we completed our longest, and last, group ride - 75 miles! The coaches were spread thin due to several events happening that weekend and we were left with just the head coach to manage the 25 or so riders who showed up. We all left at the same time and split up into our own pace groups. My friend Alex and I headed up the front straightaway where we met up with Dan. The weather was perfect, cool and partly sunny. I felt amazing and we kept our pace at around 20mph with bursts up to 32! While on Sheridan Road, we were passed by the XXX race team. It was intensely frightening and nearly caused me to hit Alex. The pack of racers sounded like a freight train as they passed us on curving hills by mere inches. No matter how much my cycling has improved over the last few months, I am nowhere near as skilled as those monsters!
Alex, Dan and I finished the ride in 4 hours and 1 minute - a full hour before anyone else did. Because the route ended at Murphy's Bleachers, I was only 3 blocks from my apartment (Alex was 4 blocks from his). We both went home to shower and change and then headed back to Murphy's to cheer on our teammates. I don't think I'll ever live down the fact that I came back in a dress. One of the women looked downright angry that I was cleaned up and pretty! All said and done, It made me realize that my goal of finishing the century in under 6 hours is totally attainable if I stick with Alex and Dan. As long as I'm healthy enough to pull through...

The Wrigley Field Road Tour posted the official ride route the past week. You can view it here: http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/46173486 (ignore the fact that it says "map my run" as we will most assuredly be riding). My mother's house is on the route at mile 87.9 (just north of the last rest stop in Grant Park at mile 86.2). I will be texting her from that final rest stop so she and anyone that wants to join her in cheering us on will be ready for our drive-by. I wouldn't mind if someone wanted to meet me at the last rest stop for a big moral push to the finale as well.

As I sit here and think about the last 2 1/2 months of training, I'm full of pride, gratitude and a bit of sadness. The Team to End AIDS has been my source of companionship and strength. It has been my social outlet and much needed break from schoolwork. It has totally wiped me out, but made me ultimately stronger. I will miss the weekly computrainer sessions and group rides. One of the coaches and a couple of my teammates have suggested making me into a triathlete next year - we'll see about that - but I know that with their help and support I could manage. I am so unbelievably grateful for the opportunity to train with so many amazing people, and equally moved by the generosity of all of you who have donated. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I haven't even got to the payoff of the ride!

Lastly, I want to thank everyone who has helped me reach my fundraising goal before the ride! When I first put $2000 as my original goal back in April, I thought it was nearly impossible and most certainly unlikely. I even moved it back to $1500 at one point, just so I wouldn't feel bad about not making the lofty goal. I'm glad I was talked into changing it back because we totally did it! You are my heroes.

Thank you again for your help, love and support. It means the world to me.


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