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Transplant Athlete
Monday, February 09, 2004
 

I'm pretty nervous about the 24 hour TT. Do I have enough training in my legs this early in the season? Will riding unsupported be a serious mistake? Why am I doing this?

I sent an email to Nancy Guth for some answers, she's done this event since it started and I've read articles she's written in Ultracycling Magazine. I also called the Race Director who described the course for me. It starts out on the Sebring International Raceway at 6:30 am. The track is 3.7 miles long and we do 3 laps, then we head out on a 88 mile loop. It sounds like the loop heads North, then SouthEast, then West back to the Raceway. I was initially afraid I would have to carry water for the whole 88 mile loop, but the race director told me that there will be support stops at the 35 mile point and the 60 mile point. Back at the Raceway we do an 11 mile loop until 6:30pm. At that point, the 12 Hour race ends and the 24 Hour riders go around the Raceway until 6:30am. He mentioned that I could leave my supplies on the side of the track to refill so that I don't have to go back to my vehicle. He also said the course is dead flat and that in the past, the weather has been a major factor. Nancy had also mentioned that the weather can be formidable. Still, for me the race is a big unknown. I haven't ridden the course yet, my training in Virginia has either been on a trainer or heavily bundled up on local roads. I feel pretty slow right now, but I know I'll go faster in the warmer weather without all the cold weather gear.
I am the ultimate nerd, I created an excel spreadsheet of my laps that takes into account the speed I need to maintain to hit my goal based on the length of my rest stops. Of course, the spreadsheet will go out the window when I'm facing a 20mph headwind...but it makes me feel better now.


I have lost some of the weight I gained during the off-season, I've got the fastest gear I can afford on my Softride: Zipp 404 wheels, Hed Aerobar, Ouzo Aero Fork. So, it boils down to me on February 28th. What do I have in me? What am I made of? Those are pretty heavy questions to ask. The only thing I know for sure is that I don't question my kidney, I can't blame it if I don't make 425 miles. This is up to my head, my heart, my lungs, and my legs.

This year I'll be doing Ultra-Cycling events to raise awareness for organ donation, the irony is I'm not aware of my own kidney. It works flawlessly. It doesn't give me any problems, it doesn't hold up my training, I don't even realize its there. I may call myself a Transplant Athlete, but I feel more like an age-grouper. I guess that just proves that organ donation works.

 

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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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