I am a 40 something who has been living with lupus since 1998. When I was diagnosed, I was told to "get my life in order" because I should expect about 10 more years of life. At the time I thought that 10 years was a long time and was thankful to have that much of a future. I'm now well past that 10 years and I'm celebrating my life every day! Along the way I was blessed with an amazing boyfriend, Tim. Tim has modeled an active lifestyle that I have embraced and my lupus has loved.
My idea was to complete an ironman triathlon. . An ironman is a triathlon that consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 run. No, I'm not crazy I wasn't going to do it all in one day. My goal was to do it over the course of one week. I'm happy to say that I did complete the the ironman, but it took me 8 days. Maybe I'll try it again some day.
My summer numbers / goals: run 107 / 125, bike 1000 / 563, swim 8 / 25.
Tour de Cure
The Tour de Cure could have been appropriately named, Tour de Hills, Tour de Beauty, Tour de Countryside, Tour de Heat, Tour de Humidity, Tour de Goats, or Tour de Fun. As always it was a great ride and Tim took excellent care of me!
A few months ago Tim suggested that we participate in this American Diabetes Associations bike ride / fund raising event. I have had several students who live with diabetes and I am extremely impressed by them and how they live with diabetes. I decided that this would be an excellent opportunity to do something in their honor. Tim and I made a team and raised $415 to be donated to the American Diabetes Association in Honor of two of my students, Alexis and Jordan.
We had decided from the start that we were going to do the century ride (100 miles.) Just before the race we learned the century riders needed to finish by 3:00. Well, I'm slow and finishing by 3:00 just wasn't possible for me. Tim and I were discussing our options, one of them being to ask if we could stay on the course without support to finish up our ride. Let me explain what "support" means. The event had stops every 15ish miles where they supplied water, sports drinks, food, and restrooms. We were riding out in the beautiful Iowa countryside, so support was a MUST HAVE on this HOT summer day!
As it got closer to the day of the ride, the temperatures were getting higher and higher and the reality of us staying out on the course without support was becoming less and less likely. We had made an initial decision to start the 100 mile course (the events had staggered start times, with the century starting first) and then just picked up by the SAG (support and gear) truck at 3:00. That decision lasted less than a day. In rolled the storms! The hourly forecast called for storms at the start of the century ride, so we decided to just go with the 50 miler.
As we were leaving home there were still rumbles of thunder and I was a bit worried that the ride wouldn't take place because the skies still looked pretty dark, but there was no rain so we were going for it! There we are at the start line enjoying the singing of the National Anthem when huge rain drops start to fall! Fortunately it only rained for about 2 minutes, and we never saw another drop the rest of the day! I was happy at first to have no rain, but then on came the HEAT! Do you know what happens when it gets really hot right after a rain? ? ? Yep, that's correct HUMIDITY!!
I had told myself before weeks before the event that I would not only be doing this event to honor my former students, but I would think of their strengths to help me to complete my course. I have never once seen either one of them complain about living with diabetes. They take multiple trips to the nurse's office on a daily basis for check ups and medications. They have to check in after lunch, before lunch, before school, after school, before class parties, after class parties, before class treats, after class treats... do you see my point? They are TOUCH!! Pain hit me around mile 40. I needed to remind myself not to complain and just keep going. I was hot, stinky, sweaty, my legs were tired, and my bottom wanted to be done with the bike seat. I kept telling myself that this would all be done once the ride was over and that I would go back to living my normal life. My pain would end, their diabetes wasn't going to, and that was the purpose of the event.. to raise money for research in hopes that some day soon a cure might be developed. With this in mind I continued through the end of the ride. I was a hot, sweaty, stinky mess at the end!
Some highlights of the event: Red Riders - people who were riding with diabetes! There were several, three stood out to me- 1. a female a few years younger than me riding a mountain bike. This was a very hilly route and it was difficult enough on my road bike, I can't imagine doing it on a road bike. I also kept reminding myself how lucky I was that I didn't have to live with diabetes. 2. A 20something man with an insulin pump on his belt. I had never seen someone so active with a pump. I found it encouraging. 3. An older rider. He impressed me for two reasons - 1. His age and the fact that he was still so active 2. His derailed broke and his bike was stuck in a high gear. That means that he was stuck in the "pedal hard" gears and couldn't move to the "pedal easy" gears. This was significant because this course was HILLY! I heard him asking around at one of the stops if anyone knew how to fix his gears. They told him no, but he could put his bike in the SAG truck and be picked up. His answer was, " No, I'll ride the rest in high gear before I SAG back!" WOW!!!!!! What a tough human spirit!
Overall, this was an EXCELLENT ride! I am disappointed that I didn't get my century ride complete, but I think that the life lessons that I took from all of these living with diabetes is worth my than anything that I could get from any other bike ride.
And not to the numbers - Goals:
This week: run- 16 bike - 42, swim 1/2. I will have to add the numbers up on the next blog.
Oh.. here are two new friends that I met on the ride.