31 January 2014

Emily's Epic Birthday Adventure: Day 1 Recap

Wow. What an awesome way to kick off Emily's Epic Birthday Adventure! If you haven't heard, I turned 30 on 29-Jan and wanted to celebrate by doing 30 hours of outdoor activity, and also raise $3,000 for the Team Noah Foundation. The plan was to ride for 9hrs on Day 1 (Thursday), then run for 12hrs on Day 2 (Friday night), and then ride another 9hrs on Day 3 (Sunday). Well, yesterday was Day 1 and it was time to ride!
breakfast of champions!
Maria and I met up BEFORE SUNRISE at Strange Donuts and we shared a Mexican Hot Chocolate donut, a Pronut, and a Strawberry Glazed donut. And coffeeeee! Then the clock struck 7 bells so we headed out to our bikes and began a very long journey. The first 20ish miles were cold with temps in the mid-20s and a strong breeze! I am currently rehabbing a slightly mysterious toe injury (think it's bursitis) so I wore my summer shoes for their roomier fit, plus I thought a 9hr "ice bath" would be good for the toe. Maria and I cruised west on Clayton and I could feel my foot freezing, but in a good way! We met Dwayne around mile 23, he had parked at The Wolf and ridding backwards to find us. Getting three Team Noah riders together is a powerful combination, and we motored up Kehrs Mill Rd to The Wolf for a coffee refill, a delicious granola bar, and to unthaw my feet.
First 30 miles of the day.
At that point I discovered my ice bath idea might be a little extreme, but Dwayne suggested I use the age-old shopping bag trick. The Wolf had extra bags, I had duct tape in my repair kit, done! As we rolled back out, my feet were much happier! We rode my one of my favorite roads in West County (Shepard Rd, northbound) and then looped around the backside of Babler State Park. Hi Babs. Normally this stretch of Wild Horse Creek Rd (I think of it as the Poker Flats) is super fast, but today we had a massive headwind that made us work. Fortunately, Team Noah isn't afraid of a little work...we crushed those miles and kept cruising onto Ossenfort and Melrose. Around this point I was worried we'd be a little late into our lunch stop, but it was too cold to take gloves off and mess with my phone to alert others we were meeting. So we just kept riding and didn't stop til the entrance to Zombie Rd, where Dwayne gave me an awesome tutorial on how to ride the frozen mud ruts of Al Foster on a road bike. I gave Jeff a quick text, we rode up Zombie, couldn't see the Arch from Ridge Rd, and then missed the turn onto St. Paul, my fault!
Love me some West County roads.
Once we got to the bottom of St. Paul, I started getting uneasy. This was NOT where we were supposed to be. I pulled out the magic iPhone once again, and right at that moment Jeff called, proving we are telepathic teammates. Turns out we had to climb BACK UP the 1mi 5% hill. BONUS! We met Jeff at the top and then cruised as a foursome over to TJ Wings. Who was there to meet us...PEAT!! For anyone who doesn't know, Peat snapped his greater trochanter clean in half and is currently recovering from surgery. Best thing for healing? Meeting your teammates for lunch, 45 minutes late, and then still chatting with them when they decide to skip the lunch part. FreeAwesome for sure.
me, Jeff, Dwayne, Peat, Maria!
We did a time check at TJ Wings and decided to modify our planned route. Both Dwayne and Jeff needed to get back to their cars before sunset, which we wouldn't be able to do if we went to Jefferson County. So we rode up into Kirkwood, then east on Grant's Trail to drop off Jeff, then back to Maria's apartment to drop off Dwayne and Maria. My bike computer showed about 7:20 of ride time at that point, so I took off solo to finish out the remaining 1:40. I rode downtown, soaked in the serenity of The Arch, then back to my apartment, complete with a loop through Forest Park to make sure I hit the 9 hour mark.
last part of my ride
And that's it for Day 1 of Emily's Epic Birthday Adventure! 9hrs on the bike with some awesome people netted me about 115 miles total. I felt pretty strong the whole time. It's hard not to feel strong when you're riding with a purpose in mind: raising money for the Team Noah Foundation. Dwayne, Maria and I talked a lot about the future of the foundation and we have some BIG PLANS. They are all geared towards making it easier for families to spend time with their babies while they're getting treatment for a congenital heart defect. We want to be able to provide short-term housing, financial support for insurance/mortgage/additional medical costs, travel expenses for out of town family members, and a whole network of resources that families need during a crisis. THESE ARE BIG GOALS. But if anyone knows how to achieve them, it's the endurance cycling community. Join us by donating here: http://www.plumfund.com/pf/teamnoah
I love this shot of Noah.
What's up next? A 12hr run! Tonight! 9pm! Grafton, IL. Details here: https://runsignup.com/Race/IL/Grafton/AeriesFebruaryFreezeTrailRun  feel free to stop by any time. In an extremely meaningful show of solidarity, TWO of my Team Noah teammates are doing this with me. Dwayne and Adam both are tackling the 12hr event. Please keep in mind - these guys are mountain bikers. Very good mountain bikers, but I'm pretty sure they haven't run a whole bunch in preparation for this. But they know a thing or two about endurance events and it is amazing to me that they are throwing their hat in the ultra-running ring. ROCK ON! If you've ever wanted to hear what's inside Dwayne's mind, now is your chance, come out and run/hike with us. See you at Aerie's!

One more note - please leave a comment or get in touch with me if you are thinking of riding mountain bikes with us on Sunday. We have a few tentative plans in place, just waiting to see what the weather does this weekend to trail conditions. I will make sure you are notified! Pin It

1 comment:

  1. What a great first day!! Good luck tonight...hopefully the potentially shitty weather makes it more epic in a good way.