Wednesday, June 06, 2007

MS 150 - Then and Now

Hi there
As many of you know, I am an avid bike rider and supporter of trying to “solve” the mystery of MS. I thought I’d share my fundraising/training experiences over the last few months in prep for the ride.
Read on!!! J

Sent: Monday, April 02, 2007 12:33 PM

Yep, its that time of year again. The sun is out (as it always is here) but I am unable to get on my bike (fear of death by auto rickshaw).

BUT... I AM getting ready for the annual MS 150 trek with my friend Wendy ANYWAY. How you say? The trip this year is 6/8-6/10 and I will be riding "virtually". I will be dedicating "butt" time on a stationary bike at our gym Saturday and Sunday evenings 6/9 & 6/10, riding the required 150 miles (234 kilometers here). I will be touching base at rest stops with Wendy on the hour via cell phone. - She is always 20 min's ahead of me anyway, so the only time I ever saw her on the ride anyway was at rest stops and as her behind pulled away from me after rest stops:)

This is the 28th anniversary of this ride (Duluth to Minneapolis) and the 14th year I have ridden. Wendy I have ridden through, marriage, divorce, kids, health concerns and now geographic challenges. I am really proud to be able to do this with her year after year.

Last year the ride raised over $1.5 million for MS research, support and awareness. I am proud to say, that thanks to all of you, I maintained my $1,000 club member status. That means I raised over $1,000 myself ($1,250 to be exact). Thank you!!

To give you a little background on why this is so important to me, my Uncle Alan had MS. He was diagnosed shortly after I was born and to be honest, MS is an integral part of my family memories with him and my cousins. Alan's illness had a profound affect on his work, friends and family. He had an incredible spirit and was able to make all of us laugh, even in the worst of situations.

So, I ride in honor and in memory of Alan. (Now is where I ask for money ...)

If you feel compelled to give to this amazing movement (literally), I'd really appreciate it. I'd love to be able to brag that I was a $1,000 club member 4 years in a row!!

How do you do that? Go on line to and choose the ePledge option on the left hand side of the page.
(Please let me know if this doesn’t work and we'll figure something else out as sending me a check isnt really an option this year:) But... If push comes to shove, I could have you send your check to Wendy and she could "deposit" it with the MS Society for me.

Thank you so much for you support, it really is an amazing experience !

Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 11:53 AM

Wanted to give an update on my training and fundraising progress - Over all - fair and good, in that order:)

Training - It is MUCH harder to train on a stationary bike, I am finding. First of all, its boring as h_ll and secondly, you cant COAST! Uggh.... But... I do loose about 2-5 pounds in sweat each time I go to the gym, so that's always nice:) I'll get there. I think the biggest struggle will be not dying of boredom. I am hoarding good books and am thinking I'll put together a schedule for my friends of when they can come "visit" me and work out with me on the bike next to mine...

Fundraising - I am 1/2 way to my goal. Not bad for 4 weeks away. BUT... So... Good news, I have raised almost $500. Bad news, I still have $500 to go. For those of you that were early contributors, THANK YOU! For those of you still interested in contributing, there is still time:) (hint hint)

Other news - Wendy has formed a team for us for this ride. I'll be a virtual member of the Red Ribbon Ride Team. We are a team of 4 (hopefully growing) and are trying to raise awareness not only for MS, but for AIDS. Wendy is using the MS150, in addition to a great fundraiser for MS, but also as a training ride for her longer and much harder AIDS ride in July. Once again, I am amazed by her strength in body and in character:)

So...Keep me in your thoughts, wish me entertainment and happy cycling. AND... Don’t forget to send in a donation.


Sent: Monday May 28th

A special THANK YOU! I have exceeded my fundraising goal - YIPPEE.

A very heartfelt thank you to a couple of "Big" contributors - Aunty Lynn, Mom and Dad and Leona. You guys are the BEST!!

For the rest of you, if you have made a donation, thank you so much. Everything counts and because of your combine efforts, I am at $1,200!!!

If you are still interested in pledging, I'd like to suggest an alternate. My friend of 16 years, Wendy Reed, will be riding the REAL ride in MN. She could use some fundraising help, so if you planning on pledging me, please pledge her instead. The money goes to the same place and we are a team:) You can go to the same site and just look for Wendy's name next to the 6/8-6/10 ride.

On other fronts, while fundraising is terrific, I think I need all your support for the physical part. I know that I get nervous each year, but this year is a bit different. I have plenty of books, People magazines, etc, but I really need your support during that long long weekend on the stationary bike. Be sending thoughts of energy and fitness to me:)

LOVE to all of you!! And THANK YOU!!!

Sent: Sunday June 10th

Ok all! I'm done, finished, over for another year! Yippee! I will be very happy if I dont need to see another stationary bike for another 10 months (until I decide to punish myself and do this again).


Fundraising - The BEST year ever! Way to go and a hearty thank you to all my friends and family that have faith in me, my abilities and hope that we'll figure out how to stop MS together!! Grand Total: $1,440:)

Ride itself: I decided to split the ride into 3 segments, 4 hour each Fri, Sat and Sun. The good news is, I had the LATEST People and US magazine along with the latest book from Tom and my favorite author. Lee Child. You can almost forget you are riding on a stationary bike for hours when Jack Reacher is kicking butt. I managed to talk to Wendy a number of times on the ride and they had hot weather and head winds the 1st day and beautifully HOT day the 2nd day. I can relate. Our club doesnt have air conditioning, just big fans. Even though I wasnt moving, I felt like I was in 90 degree heat with hot wind blowing on me:) I feel great, the 1 1/2 hour Thai massage from Julie on Saturday did the trick. I was a little tired, but not sore on Sunday morning and that makes all the difference. I almost got used to being at the club for 4 hours at a shot, scary in itself.

Overall, how do I compare riding here and in MN? Well, I really really missed Little Angies for BIG margaritas and fantastic mexican food. On the end of the 2nd day, I could almost see, taste and feel that I was standing in line for a massage with an ice cold beer in my head. (Julie's massage and a vodka lime soda saved me). I actually really did miss camping and all the snack finger food that we used to consume. I particularly missed Wendy and our time together. I didnt miss waking up to a cold/wet tent or peddling up hill or into a wind. (I hate that!) But... I have to admit, sleeping in your own bed has it merits and coming home to a chilled glass of champange and a love note that says "go mommy go" from your fabulous husband and 3 kids has its mertis. PLUS, Tom made me fahita's for dinner so... I should go:)

Overall, its do-able. Would I do it again? YES! Be warned, I'll be hitting you up for donatioins next year, no matter WHERE I am:)