Transplant Athlete
Thursday, February 23, 2006
  My Mom Has Breast Cancer

My Mom found out today that she has breast cancer. Her sister Gaetana is a survivor. Her cousin Linda (on her mom's side) is a survivor. My mom can beat this.

My Dad's sister is a survivor. If you are a religious person, please include my mom in your prayers. Thanks.

I was going to say that on the plus side I don't know anyone who hasn't beaten breast cancer, but then I remembered Heidi. I'm not sure, but I think Heidi's cancer was in remission when I first met her. The event I ride in up in Massachusetts was renamed in her honor "Heidi's Chain of Hope". RIP Heidi.


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Tuesday, February 21, 2006
  Bike Sebring 2006 Part II

I didn't leave myself enough time before the race and since my truck was a bit disorganized I was flustered. On the track, I rode alongside a guy who recognized me from last year, I think his name was Mike Krasilovsky, we both had a rough start to the 2005 Bike Sebring. I stopped back at the truck after the 3 laps on the track and an over-eager volunteer tried to help me which flustered me even more. I switched to my sunglasses which immediately fogged up in the morning mist once I started riding. I slowed down to fiddle with my glasses and got passed by a couple doing the 12 hour race. Since I'm not allowed to draft, I had to pass them. I wasn't having much fun at the beginning. Eventually, the mist burned off, I settled into a rhythm and things started looking up.

I hit the turn around and opted to keep going. I had enough supplies to get to the next rest stop. I was Just Riding Along when I pulled up behind a couple of cars behind a cop car. I worked my way up to the cop car and it was keeping people from passing a line of tractors. A Long Line of Tractors. The cop waved me past and then I proceeded to pass 70 tractors.

I was trying something new on this ride; normally, I drink a bottle of Perpetuem (4 scoops) over a two hour period, but on this ride I was drinking that much in one hour and also trying to get some powerbars down. I was pushing the upper limit of how many calories I could stomach and I occasionally had to slow down and let it digest. In the past, I've had a really empty feeling going into the night loops at Sebring and late in brevets so I was hoping more calories would help and it did. I will definitely be doing this on future long rides.

The winds were light this year, so the long stretch that usually harbors a terrible headwind wasn't much of a problem. I made a quick pit stop back at the truck to refill my camelback and grab a bagel then started the 12 mile loops. I got 4 down before I needed another break. Then two more laps and a long break. My legs felt pretty good, but something wasn't right and I felt like I was slowing down. It was then as I watched a rider spin past with a high cadence that I realized my own cadence was slowing and I was trying to push bigger and bigger gears. I switched into the small chainring and started spinning faster. I had a lot of time to think. I remembered from somewhere that the slow twitch muscles (used in high cadence pedaling) can go for a very long time versus the fast twitch muscles (used in mashing gears). I haven't really paid attention to my cadence in awhile, so I'm guessing that my average cadence in training has been pretty low. I was a bit worried that since I haven't been training to spin for long periods I would be slow and suffering during the next 12 hours, but my lap split times for the last few 12 mile laps are quicker than my early laps at low cadence.

After the 12 mile laps, I packed up my truck and drove to the parking lot behind the pits to begin the night loops on the track.


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Monday, February 20, 2006
  Bike Sebring 2006

I had a very stressful drive down to Florida. I was behind schedule. I had left things (tools) behind because I didn't have room for them. I drove through the night and arrived at my first stop in Jacksonville Friday morning. Nearly 18 hours after I left VA, I was at the Chateau Elan cleaning my Softride, wondering if the tires were still good on my Zipp 404's.

Funny story. I forgot the little part that you attach to a pump to fill up Disk wheels (a regular pump head won't fit...). I've only ever heard it called a "crack pipe". I don't know what its really called.
So I ask the guy at the store if he's got a crack pipe and QUICKLY explain what it does.
He looks at me and says "I have never done drugs and I don't know what a crack pipe looks like."
Me:You've never seen a crack pipe?(I'm not a heavy drug user, but I do watch a bit of TV here and there) It looks like a normal pipe only smaller. (I then again explain what it does.)

Bike Shop Guy:The only thing I have that goes on the end of the pump hose is this (pulls out a piece that looks like it converts presta to schrader)

Me: That might fit in the space, but I need it to be presta.

Bike Shop Guy pulls out another piece and says this will convert it back to presta.
So I brought in the disk to see if this thing would fit in the available space and it obviously didn't...I asked if there was another bike shop in the area and Bike Shop Guy replied with a curt "NO". No sense of humor, just like a turnip.

    Notes to self for Next Year:
  • Camp at Sebring Raceway(free) and shower at Highland Hammock State Park($6.50) or spend $170 for the Chateau Elan.
  • Keep two gallons of water out of the cooler. You'll appreciate the warmer water at 2am. A couple mouthfuls of Coca-Cola straight out of the cooler at 2AM set my teeth a chatterin' for about a lap and a half.
  • Coca-Cola didn't have enough kick to it, try coffee next year. The heat will also help keep your core temp up in the wee hours.
  • Perpetuem was starting to make me sick around 18 hours into the race, switch to Sustained Energy and Hammer Gel for variety.
  • Don't forget the Endurolytes and if you do forget the endurolytes, don't forget to buy bananas and if you forget to buy bananas, pray that they have them at the rest stops.
  • Anti-fog spray for glasses will keep them clear in the early morning mist.
  • Get a crew for next year, without one, you crawl into the truck and sleep and you quit early. You need someone to push you.
  • Try a little Benadryl before the race, that might keep all that phlegm from forming in your lungs.

Stats: 315.9 miles. My computer says I was on the bike for 18.75 hours averaging 16.85 mph, but since it was a 24 hour time trial, my average speed is technically 13.16 mph. The link above is to the results and lap splits. More about the race tomorrow.


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Thursday, February 16, 2006
  Up In Alaska

Jill writes a blog about her exploits in the subarctic. She is one tough chick. I like the winter, but you'd never catch me riding in the conditions she rides in everyday...She's racing the Susitna 100 this weekend. You gotta admire someone who'll participate in a race where the directors warn exposed skin may freeze in minutes... While she's dealing with temperatures that could go from 40 degrees F to -40 degrees F, I'll be in sunny Sebring, Florida racing at Bike Sebring.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006
  Sebring Weather Watch

Accuweather.com lists the weather for Saturday in Sebring Florida as Mostly Sunny and 81 degrees with a low of 59 degrees. Friday and Sunday are essentially the same...Woo Hoo.

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Friday, February 10, 2006
  Last Weekend

Last weekend I rode up to Thurmont for "Doctor Discs Century of Centuries". It was a beautiful morning (4am) and there was enough ambient light to turn off my headlight on for large sections of the W&OD. The temperature was right where I like it when its cold outside...I traveled up 15 and hung a left to do the climb up Mountville Rd, then worked my way around the west side of Frederick, making the climb up Teen Barnes Rd. Yes, I had heard the name before, but I didn't put 2 and 2 together until I was actually on the road. It is an ultra steep, but thankfully short climb. I was supposed to make a left on Walter Martz, but after several miles of not finding my next turn, I backtracked and found that there was another left turn for Walter Martz less than 300 yards further on the road I was traveling. 300 yards, 1500 feet...My bike computer is not that accurate. Needless to say, I arrived in Thurmont late and stopped for breakfast at BK and water at Sheetz. A friendly motorist warned me that "you should start heading for home, its going to rain soon."

When I arrived at the ride start, I found that Crista had not left any cue sheets outside her vehicle, so I was left to copy the route directions to lunch and hope I could catch them there. The weather was looking so crappy that she didn't think anyone would show up. It started raining right after that as I started the climb up Sabillasville Rd. It wasn't too bad though, It would rain, then stop for awhile, my body heat would warm me back up, and then it would start raining again. Even taking a 4 mile shortcut to lunch, and skipping a rest stop, and knowing that they usually stop for 1 hour for lunch, I couldn't catch the tandem. It turns out I was about a half hour late.

I backtracked to get back to the ride start as the temperatures started dropping and the breaks between rain were getting less and less frequent. By the time I reached Blue Ridge Summit I was drenched and freezing. I called home and asked Adrienne to pick me up in Thurmont. I had two miles to go up hill and then 7 "fast" downhill miles to Thurmont. Those last 7 miles were the slowest "fast" downhill I've ever done. I don't know if my perception of time or mileage was off or what, but that just seemed to take forever. In actuality it did take over 45 minutes...45 minutes for a fast downhill? That was about 15 minutes longer than it should have taken. Weak and weary, I ordered some more grub at BK and sat around waiting for Adrienne. When I finally left the booth, there was a lake underneath me and little rivers running to other tables. We stopped at her parents house in Frederick, where I got a shower and we fed the kids. Total mileage 146 and 12 hours on the bike and around 14 hours overall.

Sunday was much better, I drove to the ride "Point Lookout Double Metric". There was an error with the cue sheet and I made a 4 mile shortcut, but after the first rest stop I drafted Chuck and Crista the whole day. It was relatively flat and at times mind-numbingly boring. Again, my perception of mileage and time seemed to be affected and I seemed to be coming down with a cold. Mileage for the day was 126 in around 8 hours. Both days were ridden in my aerobic zone; although, drafting the tandem, I was below my aerobic zone for much of the day.

BikeSebring Weather Check: Saturday Mostly Cloudy Chance of Rain High Temp: 75 Low Temp: 52. If past years are any indication this will change drastically by race day.


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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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Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
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  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Cola or tea colored urine
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  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity

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