Monday, September 29, 2014

Reunited...

And it feels soooo good.

That's right. I've been reunited with my Mojo. It has been a long while since I have been in touch with my Mojo and it feels awesome! My Mojo involves working out with intensity, not phoning it in, and keeping my eye on the prize.

Yeah. You know, that 102 mile prize.

So, what have I been up to?

I've gone on a couple runs. One with Spark and one with Tuque. Apparently, it has been a while since Tuque has been on a run because he was definitely worn out...it didn't help that it was a zillion degrees in the scorching Sun. Oh, and Tuque was carrying out a couch to 10k plan -- in one day.

Seriously. A Zillion degrees.


Sun-bleached.
Tired pup.
I've also been doing both real and virtual spin classes. The only place that has spin classes that I can attend doesn't have clipless pedals. I only learned this after hauling @$$ to make it to a class with no other shoes. So, the next week I gave it a try with just tennis shoes. It was okay, but my feet were really bothered because I wasn't used to wearing flexible shoes in the pedals.

I noticed that even though the Rec center didn't have spin bikes with clipless pedals in the class -- they did have 3 older spin bikes with clipless out in the machine area.

Soooo, I did a little digging and found a YouTube Channel with spin class videos...and they are hard core! So far I have done these two:




The guy leading them is Paul Ryman, who is pretty much the devil incarnate. The guy says things like, "things are about to get horrendous" or, my favorite, "this is like the pros climbing the mountains in France, except its for only 4 minutes instead of 3 hours. Now turn it up one more notch."

I just tap into the free Wifi, set my phone on the aero bars, and rock out. The bonus is that the bikes overlook the atrium/entrance area. So, I get to people watch while I sweat my face off.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Let's Start with the Big Spenders...for the 102 Miles of Nowhere.

Yes. It is now 102 miles. And we have raised 860 big ones!

When Norman and I first started to put the plan together for 100 Miles of Nowhere, we knew that we wanted different levels  of donations to really mix things up. We envisioned that we would have a lot of $20 donations, but still wanted to motivate some people to donate big if they wanted to. So, we dreamed up funny things to try to up the ante a bit.

Well. That was an interesting theory.

In reality, there are several people that have supported in BIG ways.

1) My Mom! She remembers H-Bomb from high school and is pretty much a huge supporter of all things Smithers. She is sponsoring mile #31 and donated 100 smack-a-roos! You will just have to wait and see what big adventure she has planned for us for her mile. She was quick to donate and was actually our first submission. Thanks, Mom!



2) Aunt Jacque! H-Bomb's aunt was the first to donate 200 bucks and became the sponsor for mile #101. Ah-maze-ing.

3) Lynn W! The sponsor for mile #102! That's right. We have TWO $200 donations! How awesome is that?!?! Lynn emailed me today and said, "thanks for going the extra mile." I told her we would proudly (and probably painfully) ride the extra mile to honor her donation.

4) SciMom! I LOVE SciMom's request that she earned with her $100 donation. We're going to keep all requests a surprise...but let's just say that this one involves singing with gusto. No, really, she said we have to do it with gusto. No problem Lea Ann! We got this.

5) Kelly N! Our former driver for RAGBRAI was one of the first few submissions and donated $100. He has kicked cancer's ass himself and insists that no shenanigans be carried out for his mile. We will have to see about that. :)

Big K is the one on the right. Thanks, Kelly!
Now, don't let all this talk of big spenders take ANY focus and excitement off of our awesome $20 donors! It takes a village (and a Fatty) to support a couple crazies willing to ride their bikes in circles for an entire day. I will be back later this week to talk about our other awesome supporters.

We have also accumulated more roadies and a corporate sponsor! Stay tuned for those details as well.

Wanna support or donate?
Read about our ride here.
Read about our first roadie here.
Read about H-Bomb's Near Perfect News here.

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 :)

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