Friday, September 19, 2014

I Left Out One Teeny Tiny Detail

I am training for a 101 mile bike ride -- without a bike.

After RAGBRAI, I flew back to Colorado and didn't want to pay the extra fees to fly my bike back. I left it in Des Moines with Mr. Smitty knowing that I would probably be returning in October for the 100 MoN. It's true -- the idea for our 100 Miles of Nowhere occurred to me before RAGBRAI. So, I left my bike in Iowa truly understanding that I would have to train for a century with no bike.

After a couple weeks of very sporadic running (read: 1 time per week), I decided to try to get a plan together to get my booty moving. So, I partitioned off the ol' whiteboard to make a calendar and put together a loose schedule to incorporate running and spinning workouts.

I am having trouble feeling like I can find the time to make it to spin classes. The spin classes at the rec center near my house start at 4:30 on MWF...and even though school gets out at 3:05, I just can't seem to get there on time with all the loose ends I usually have to tie up at the end of the day.

I have decided to put together a plan that involves running and spinning. Long and short runs peppered with one spin class each week and one individual spin session each week. I found a YouTube channel with a bunch of interval spin classes.


There are still lots of blanks on the calendar because I want to see how the YouTube spin "classes" go and also because there are still some unknown variables in my schedule.

I am hoping that the plan will keep me motivated to stick with it and be somewhat prepared for this ride. I mean, I don't want to be miserable the whole time!

Look for a 101 Miles of Nowhere update on Sunday. There have definitely been some developments!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

100 MoN Update: Did I say 100 miles? I meant 101.

The donations have started coming in. Oh, you don't know what I am talking about? Read about my 100 Miles of Nowhere shenanigans plan here. Or just find the donation links to the right in the sidebar.

There are lots of details to report.

1) Somebody did it. Somebody donated 200 smack-a-roos and now we are riding an extra mile. 101 MoN! (More shout outs coming for the great people behind the moo-la).

2) We have roadies! Not only is Pocahontas joining us, but it sounds like Goldie (creator of the "Keep that baby in" Dance) is in...and I have heard rumors of Ma.Sing.Ga joining the fun.

3) I have begun a snarky charm campaign to get Fatty to give a shout-out on his blog...or better yet, donate something for us to give away...or donate money. 

140 characters. Infinite Charm.

Wanna help me? Tweet @fatcyclist and tell him how great my 100 MoN really is. Just send him here to read all about it.

4) We are up to $460 bucks total! That will provide for amazing opportunities for H-Bomb's girls...but we want MORE! C'mon, just 20 bucks! Or 40. Hey, while you are at it, how about $100?

5) Bike World Ames is thinking on it. B and I ADORE Steve and Leanne from the Bee-Dub.

We Are Bike World.
I reached out to Leanne via email to inquire about some sort of support. Her response basically said, "Duh. Of course. Let us figure out what we want to do." Well, what Leanne said was actually much nicer than that, but you get the point.

6) I am sort of trying to train for this thing. More on that next week.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

...Aaaaand, We've Got a Roadie!

If you haven't already read about it -- check out the 100 Miles of Nowhere ride that I will be doing to honor H-Bomb.

THEN -- SPONSOR A MILE! That means you have to enter your info on our form and then either send me an email for my address or donate via Paypal online. Check out the links on the right for all the information you need.

We have our first roadie/supporter, and, of course, it is Pocahontas. She is on Team Beaver and did a day of RAGBRAI with us this year. She is super organized and will definitely be taking our 100 MoN to the next level! Thanks, Pokey, for signing on!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

100 Miles of Nowere: H-Bomb Edition


100 Miles of Nowhere!

Back in 2008, Elden (aka “Fatty”) from Fatcyclist.com, bet a bunch of cyclist readers that he could ride 100 miles on rollers in his basement. Spoiler Alert -- he did. And that is when 100 Miles of Nowhere was born. It quickly grew and is now up to 500 participants. The idea is to ride 100 miles on a self-invented “infuriatingly small course” and then write about your adventure for Fatty’s blog.

Today, 100-Miles-of-Nowhere riders kick in a $150 registration that goes towards a cancer charity. In return, Fatty sends them a big box of swag and a killer jersey. This year the moo-la will go to Camp Kesem, a series of camps across the country for kids affected by cancer.

Since this is a virtual benefit bike ride, we have flexibility in when and how we do it, but Fatty suggests completing it by October 18th , which happens to be very close to the relatively recently proclaimed Inflammatory Breast Cancer Awareness Week. Coincidence? I think not….which brings us to…

Our 100 Miles Guest of Honor:

H-Bomb! She is the author over at Some Girls Prefer Carnations, and is our resident blog-o-sphere Bad Ass. She beat breast cancer once...and is on her way to beating it again.

 
 
I know Heather from high school, but haven’t really kept in face-to-face contact for about 10 years. So, why do a ride in her honor? Well, because Heather is just one of *those* people. One of those people that makes an unforgettable impression. She is the most optimistic, kind, thoughtful, and smart person I know. Her approach to life astonishingly refreshing and I think we can all learn something from her.
 
I have to be honest -- part of my support of Heather is a little self-centered. You see, Heather first discovered a breast abnormality when she was 7 months pregnant with her second daughter. While nursing, it was pushed off as a plugged duct, but persisted long after she quit breastfeeding. That is when doctors discovered it was actually Inflammatory Breast Cancer. All cancer is terrible, but there is something about an actively nursing mom discovering a hardened spot and then getting diagnosed with cancer while raising two young and beautiful daughters. It rocks every new mom to the core…including me. I feel selfish writing it -- “oooooh, look at me...Heather’s diagnosis really made me worry about myself” -- while she tries to overcome the terrible effects of her last hard chemo session. But. BUT, Heather is the kind of person that would smile and be completely empathetic and explain that worrying is the only way to spread awareness of a rare and aggressive type of breast cancer.
 
Our Plan:
Heather *just* completed her last “hard chemo” and is kicking cancer’s ass! So, we want our 100 miles of Nowhere to honor her fight. Our route will be a 0.33 mile loop between H-Bomb’s house and the clinic a block away where she received her chemo treatments. Yep, you read that correctly. Normie and I will be riding 100 miles in ⅓ mile increments. This route will definitely meet the expectation of being “infuriatingly small,” but we think it is a perfect testament to how many times H-Bomb schlepped herself over there for testing and treatments.
 
Here is Where YOU Come In:
Sticking with the spirit of charity towards kids affected by cancer, we want to raise some moo-la to benefit Heather’s two amazing daughters, A and E. The funds will go to Heather and her husband for a future camp experience for their daughters. Maybe it is the YMCA summer camp...maybe it is a summer program for something they are interested in...maybe it is an afterschool activity that might be out of budget...whatever it is, we want to dedicate our energy and money so they can have some good old-fashioned kid fun!


Donate! Don't Worry, We'll Make it Fun!
Sponsor a Mile!
There are three levels of sponsorship:

Level 1: Donate $20 and we will take a picture with a sign with your name on it and publish it via Twitter and later on our blogs.

Level 2: Donate $40 and we will also do something silly/funny/stupid/goofy for that mile in your honor. You can pick anything from our pre-approved “Level 2 Stupid Shit to Do For a Mile Menu” below.

Level 3: Donate $100 and we will let YOU choose what we do for your mile.

And, finally, the Super-Crazy-We-Will-Hate-You-If-You-Do-This Level: Donate $200 and we will….Ride.An.Extra.Mile. Trust me, you have no idea how painful this will actually be. After riding 300 laps around a block in Ames, riding an extra mile will seem like torture! BUT, we will totally do it with a smile-like grimace on our face for an extra 200 smack-a-roos towards the A & E Adventure fund!

Other Prizes!
We want to do some raffling of cool prizes for the folks to donate. We don’t know what those prizes will be just yet. So, stay tuned for updates! Alternatively, if you have some prizes you would like to donate for our raffle giveaway, let us know!

How to Donate:
Step One: There two ways to donate:
A) Send your money to me via snail mail. Get my address by emailing me at:
 
 
OR
 
B) Click on the "Donate" button below to donate online via Paypal



You are just going to have to trust that I will transfer it to H-Bomb. I am an Assistant Principal, for goodness sake...yes, you can trust me. And if you don’t, well, then I guess we don’t get your money.

Step Two: Go to this online form to submit your info to sponsor a mile. We will be posting a screenshot of the list once we get some donations (don't worry, we won't share your email address!)

And/Or Join Us!
We can’t do this alone! Join us for the festivities and be a part of the shenanigans. We will need “volunteers” to help with the following:
  • Rider Support (water bottle filling, snack unwrapping, picture taking, explaining to the cops/neighbors what the heck is going on)
  • Moral Support (ride a mile, or a quarter of a mile, or five miles, walk around the block, heckle us, hand us beers, drink beers with us)
Let us know if you want to help out!

Note: this is going to take all day, so don’t feel like you need to stay for the whole 100 miles. Or, stay for the 100 miles. Whatever you want.

Post-Ride Party
After we finish, we will retreat to a downtown Ames establishment for refreshments and fun. Details to be announced closer to the date of the ride!

A Note On the Weather
It’s October 18th in Iowa. The weather could be 70 degrees and sunny. Or it could be sleeting and 40. Should the weather be unsafe or completely unfit, we may need to relocate indoors to spin bikes at a local YMCA or, heaven-forbid, trainers. That being said, we are pretty tough, we’d both prefer to be outside and on-site.
 

Appendix: Level 2 Stupid Shit to Do For a Mile
  • Low-speed pace line
  • Share a Coors Light while riding
  • Snapchat you or your friends
  • Mini-biker dance party
  • Music: you choose!
  • Beaver Cheer!
  • Trade bicycles
  • Wear costumes (subject to costume ownership and ability to pedal in them) 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

RAGBRAI Special: The Pump

It is Day 2 of the RAGBRAI special (seven days of RAGBRAI-ish Related Posts set to auto-publish during the big ride). Today, we talk about The Pump.

I have decided to pump on RAGBRAI. I just didn't feel right having this week be the end of nursing. I plan to slowly wean eventually, but want to do it on my own terms. Stubborn? Probably.

I am not planning on storing any of the milk, just pumping to keep up supply and keep my options open with Squishy Baby.

Let's look at the set up.

First off, I plan to pump under a big t-shirt so I don't expose myself. I am "The Boss" of Team Beaver -- so I had to do some customizing to the shirt.



Heh.
And here is my seat rack with a bungee cargo net to hold it all together. I got a deal on the seat rack ($25) because the shop ran out and only had a used one that was put on a rental for 3 days. Score! I did have to invest in an aluminum seat post so I didn't ruin my carbon fiber one.


I tested it on a ride with B and on the Brewery 100. I made some adjustments for RAGBRAI to make it a little more comfortable. Mostly, I got a bigger and sturdier bag so that it all stays in place better on the rack.

I have three power sources -- a battery pack, a power cord, and a car cord. My plan is to pump in Normie's mom's Jeep Liberty in the mornings, somewhere on the road during the day, and Jeep or homestay at night. We will see how that goes.

I think this totally qualifies me as Super Mom :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

RAGBRAI Special: 1st Annual Team Beaver Bar Day -- Will It Happen?

Welcome to another RAGBRAI Special. Today I am riding from Emmetsburg to Forest City today and you get a pre-written post about today's adventure.

I did it.

I went out on a limb and challenged Team Beaver to visit every bar on the route. The fun part is that there are 2 bars on the Century Loop! We have never done a loop on RAGBRAI and I figured this year was a good time to do it since it is sandwiched between two 40-ish mile days.

The Introduction from  the Beaver Tale

Will Team Beaver meet my challenge -- or will it fall flat on its face? To be honest, you will probably have to wait until Normie's RAGBRAI posts in January to find out.

Monday, July 21, 2014

RAGBRAI Special: The Kid Shuffle

Hello! Welcome to Part 2 of the RAGBRAI Special! I am pre-writing some RAGBRAI-related posts (See yesterday's here). Today, I am riding from Rock Valley (where hopefully we had a wonderfully restful night) to Okoboji.

So, you may be wondering, "Where the heck are the kids?!?"

The answer is...everywhere. Between my mom and dad, B's mom and husband, B's dad, and B's sister (Aunt Goo) -- the kids are well-covered. We decided to divide and conquer, because, let's be honest, taking care of both kids can be a bit overwhelming. Also, it seems to make grandparents happier if we split 'em...you know, more Smithers offspring to share :)

In true Smithers fashion, the kid shuffle is complicated. I tried to schedule it evenly and in chunks so that the kids could get into a rhythm with each grandparent for a few days before moving on. Plus, I went to Iowa 4 days before RAGBRAI to get them used to everyone.

I am nervous to be away from my babies for so long. I know they will be in good hands -- but it is still pretty hard. Hopefully, my divide-and-conquer-prepare-the-crap-out-of-everything-and-anticipate-all-potential-hiccups approach will help everything go smoothly.

Right.

Oh, except that my kids won't let anything go uncomplicated. The day we flew into Des Moines, my happy squishy baby became an angry clingy baby. Fast forward three sleep-deprived days...and now I know that it is Hand Foot and Mouth Disease.

How do I know?

This.

Hand and Foot Craziness. There is more on the rest of her body, too!
According to Dr. Google, it is caused by a virus and the sick feeling lasts 2-3 days with a rash that lasts a week. I am writing this on Day 4, so hoping that things are on the up and up. Also hoping that she doesn't make life miserable for all the grandparents. Fingers crossed.

Stay tuned for a post RAGBRAI report on how things went!

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