Tag Archives: Tour de Cure

#DBlogWeek Out-of-Order Day 6: Saturday Snapshots.

DBlogWeek

For the 5th year in a row, diabetes writers from all over the world have been participating in a solid week’s worth of informative, educational, and inspirational blog posts. To find out everything you need to know about Diabetes Blog Week, click on the banner above. A big Thank You to Karen Graffeo for making this happen every year!

With everything going on in my time on Maryland’s Eastern Shore Saturday, I didn’t get a chance to post my Saturday Snapshots. But here it is on Monday instead. I’m a little out of order, but I hope you like the photos from Saturday’s Chesapeake Bay Tour de Cure anyway.

Saturday’s topic was:
Today it’s time to share some pictures for Saturday Snapshots. Back for another year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like! With a nod to the Diabetes 365 Photo Pool, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures. Post as many or as few as you’d like. Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Full disclosure: I had planned to do the 62 mile Metric Century ride on Saturday, but after checking out the cue sheets (the route descriptions) for all the rides, I decided to bike the 31 mile event instead. Why the change? I didn’t really like the 62 mile route, to be honest. And I really liked the 31. Also, Maureen was with me at a ride for the first time in a while, and I thought it would be nice to spend more time with her and less time on my bike. Now, without further ado, my Saturday ride. And thank you to everyone who graciously donated this year!

The support of all the Red Riders (riders with diabetes) was amazing and special.  It never gets old.

The support of all the Red Riders (riders with diabetes) was amazing and special. It never gets old.

At the registration table, before I got my Red Rider jersey.  The woman in yellow behind me came all the way from Seattle for this ride.

At the registration table, before I got my Red Rider jersey. The woman in yellow behind me came all the way from Seattle for this ride. Whoever you are, Thank You.

Putting the front wheel on my bike before the ride.  This is notable only if you want to see what my truck looks like, or you really wanted to see a 52 year old in bike shorts.

Putting the front wheel on my bike before the ride. This is notable only if you want to see what my truck looks like, or you really wanted to see a 52 year old in bike shorts.

At the start.  Finally got that Red Rider jersey on.  There were way more riders than last year.  Yay!

At the start. Finally got that Red Rider jersey on. There were way more riders than last year. Yay!

These next two are great looks at beautiful Maryland farmland.

These next two are great looks at beautiful Maryland farmland along my ride route.

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Riders getting on the Oxford to Bellevue ferry.  This was the location of our rest stop Saturday.

Riders getting on the Oxford to Bellevue ferry. This was the location of our rest stop Saturday. I’ve got a lot of shots on the ferry, so I’ll just let those roll now.

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I've given away a lot of medals in the last six months... it's been a while since I've been given one.

I’ve given away a lot of medals in the last six months… it’s been a while since I’ve been given one.

I've met Leigh Ann DePope via the Wednesday night DSMA Twitter chats.  This was the first time I'd met her in person!  She volunteered all day Saturday.  Thank you!

I’ve met Leigh Ann DePope via the Wednesday night DSMA Twitter chats. This was the first time I’d met her in person! She volunteered all day Saturday. Thank you!

Finally… As I was packing things up, a woman and two little girls came up to me and asked if I was a Red Rider. I said yes, and they explained that they made these, and were giving them away to all the Red Riders. I was instantly touched by their show of support. When I saw what it was, I immediately thought of one person. This is for you Alecia:
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Way off in the distance…

…I see a long bike ride, and a triathlon. Please bear with me as I spill out some thoughts today.

I made the commitment again this year to ride in the American Diabetes Association’s Chesapeake Bay Tour de Cure on May 17th.

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Last year’s event was fantastic, and I’m looking forward to this year’s edition. This is not the closest Tour de Cure for me, but this ride has a few things that work well for an old guy like myself. Mostly, timing and location.

Mid-May should be late enough in the year that any chance of super-cold weather would be minimal. Then all we have to do is cross our fingers and hope it doesn’t rain. Also, the location is flat, on Maryland’s eastern shore (east of the Chesapeake Bay), mostly on roads that are lightly traveled. Last year, the ride was well staffed with volunteers and there was plenty of moral support from other riders and residents along the route.

If you’re in this region, or if you’d like to travel for a fun ride benefitting a good cause, I want to encourage you to consider the Chesapeake Bay Tour de Cure.

Now, about that triathlon…

I have a triathlon in mind, a repeat of the first one I completed three years ago. Registration isn’t open for this event yet, so I don’t want to mention it here except to say that it usually happens on Father’s Day in June. It’s a sprint triathlon, which means the distances are much shorter than those ironman events you hear about. In this case, it involves a 400 meter swim, followed by a 15 mile bike, then a 5K run. If I’m lucky and I train hard, I think I can still complete this in under two hours.

The triathlon is the real tough goal for me. I’m having trouble just mentally preparing for it right now. Even though the distances aren’t that lengthy, and I know I can do it, I also know that I can only do it if I train hard, for months, before the actual event. And I have to stay healthy. Over the next five months, many things could happen to sidetrack me. I had planned to do this one last year but had to withdraw because I encountered a series of illnesses over November, December, January, February, and March. They weren’t serious illnesses, but they sidetracked me enough that I couldn’t get my training ramped up to where I felt I could finish, or finish well. After that 100 mile bike ride back in June 2012, I’m very sensitive and a little scared about pushing myself.

But… I just need to put that in the memory banks and move on. I need to admit my fear, but push past it. My goal, I’m stating publicly here, is to complete that triathlon, perform well for a 50-something year old, or: Come as close as I possibly can to meeting this goal. Which would still be a big deal, even if it would leave me disappointed. The main thing I need to remember is one of the main tenets of living with diabetes:

Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.

So thanks for sticking with me here on this. Sometimes I just have to sit down and get all this off of my chest. As the training progresses, I’ll try to talk more about how exercise and my diabetes play with each other. Now that that’s out of the way… where did I leave that swimsuit?
 
 
 

Slow and Steady.

It’s getting to be crunch time in my training for athletic (I use that term very loosely) events coming up this year. In a couple of weeks, it’s an ADA Tour de Cure 55 mile bike ride. A month later, a sprint triathlon, and about three weeks after that, a 5K run.

As expected, I’m finding the training more difficult this year. Partly, that’s because I’m another year older. Partly, it’s because I haven’t had to train this hard at this time of year for a few years. And partly, it’s because I’ve been sick off and on over the last 5 months or so, making a regular training schedule a pipe dream. Oh, and let’s not forget a much colder than usual Spring this year, making outdoor workouts harder to accomplish.

None of this is an excuse, of course. Ordinarily, I’d be very concerned that I wouldn’t be able to turn in stellar times or rise to the challenge when these events happen. Ordinarily, I’d still be planning out my strategy for turning in the best times or finishing as high on the board as possible.

But I think I may have reached a point in my life where just competing, and just finishing these events mean more to me than winning (which I never did anyway), or turning in personal records.

When I ride in a couple of weeks, I want to enjoy the scenery a little while I’m pedaling down the road. I don’t have an all-consuming desire to hang with the leaders as long as I can (usually only about 10 miles) before slipping off and working at my own tough but slower pace. I still want to get the distance in, and I do not want to finish last… that part of my competitive steak is still intact.

But I really want to relish my participation in these events while I’m still in decent enough shape to enjoy them.

Let somebody else burn up the road. This time, I’m happy being the slow and steady tortoise.
 
 
 

Time to get going.

Back in my first post this year, I talked about my defining ideals for 2013. One of them involves staying as healthy and active as possible. To that end, I’ve made the commitment for my first athletic event of the year.

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The Chesapeake Bay Tour de Cure is entering its second year. To be honest, the Maryland Tour de Cure is closer to home… I wouldn’t even have to stay in a hotel for that one. But it’s a couple of weeks earlier, and you never know what the weather will be like here in early May. Plus, it’s in Carroll County, which is west of here, which means it’s very, very hilly. As in uphilly. As in, even a 30 mile ride would take a lot of effort.

On the other hand, the Chesapeake Bay Tour de Cure is based in Easton, on the other side of the Chesapeake Bay. All of it is 100 feet or less above sea level. I’ve already done the Tour de Talbot there, which benefits JDRF and covers much of the same real estate. I know what I’m getting into. The 55 miler should be a great way to get started this year. If I can add the Tour de Talbot (in September) as a bookend to my events in 2013, I’ll be thrilled.

I’ll be honest… I would really love to participate in one of the big JDRF rides this year. But there’s a big reason why I don’t. You see, there’s a big difference between the ADA and the JDRF rides, and the difference is this:

1800 dollars.

If I want to participate in the Tour de Cure here in May, I have to raise 200 dollars before I’m allowed to ride in the event.

If I want to participate in one of the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes events, I have to raise at least 2,000 dollars. 1,999 dollars? No ride.

Granted, if I raise 3,000 dollars they’ll put me up in a hotel for three days, and if I raise four grand they’ll cover my airfare and ship my bike too. That would be fantastic, and I would sign up yesterday if I thought I could raise that much scratch.

I know it sounds like I’m hating on the JDRF rides, but I’m not. I greatly admire the people who can do this, and I will be contributing to as many of those efforts as I can myself. I encourage you to do the same.

But… even though almost everyone I know might contribute, almost everyone I know can only contribute 5 or 10 dollars at a time. I don’t know if I know 200 to 400 people. I’m not ruling it out, mind you. I really want to do one of those rides. But I’m going to have to wait another year at least.

In the meantime, ADA is still a great cause, and they do a tremendous thing organizing these rides all over the country. One suggestion: Please publish the ride route early. I hate having to wait until event day to find out where I’ll be going, and so does The Great Spousal Unit. She wants to be able to find me if I don’t check in by phone at the right time. You know what I mean.

This is getting a little long, so let me close by asking two things:

1. If you’re within driving distance, please consider participating. More information is available here:
http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR?fr_id=8614&pg=entry

2. If you can, please consider contributing. I feel kind of weird asking, but I know the cause is important. Here’s the link to my page:
http://tour.diabetes.org/site/TR?px=7322190&pg=personal&fr_id=8614&s_src=email_tour&s_subsrc=autoresponder-forward

In another month, if I’m lucky, I’ll be tuning up the bike, pumping up the tires, and getting out there on the road. In three months, I hope to see you at the Chesapeake Bay Tour de Cure.
 
 
 

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