Earlier this year, back when it was snowy and cold, er, I mean back in January, I laid out some goals for 2014. And I promised that I would share my progress towards them them each month. Since the Baltimore area gets hit by another embarrassingly devastating 6 inches of snow yesterday, I had the time to sit down and put the February recap together. Here goes:
Goal 1: Go Farther. My ‘go farther goal’ is to ride from the New York/Massachusetts border all the way to Provincetown in 3 days the first weekend of August over PMC weekend. This target motivates me each time I get on my bike, inside on the trainer or outside tackling the hills of Baltimore County. Which leads me to….
Goal 2: Go Faster. January was a great start for my training this year, and I kicked it up another notch in February. I trained on 14 different days, do a total of 14.5 hours. In just the 28 days of February alone, I surpassed my total indoor training in 2013. So far this year, I’ve done more than 24 hours on the trainer. I am pretty much ready to get outside. A lot of this extra training came thanks to the #18for18 campaign that so many of you donated to!
Goal 3: Fundraise More. Speaking of #18for18, I asked all of you to make a donation on February 22nd to celebrate my 18th anniversary of my first cancer diagnosis. I really was expecting maybe 6 or 8 donations from this ask, but 26 amazing people ended up donating, pushing my February fundraising to over $950. To date, over $1,000 has been donated so far, the most I’ve had donated before February 28th ever. Thank you for helping me get to 10% of my goal this year.
Goal 4: Think Bigger. This means adding new ways for people to support the PMC. The #18for18 campaign was one of these new ways. Of the 24 people who donated, half of them are new donors. I have some more ideas on the way soon, but don’t forget that these two new ways to support my ride already in place for 2014!
Finally, I’ll share this Vine video that I posted this month of Shannon going for early season bike ride:
Thank you to the great people who made donations on Saturday and Sunday!
the #18for18 campaign was a huge success – $750 total! I honestly was hoping for $250, so I can say that you all have outdone yourselves. I am trying to complete my end of the deal – I will pledge to ride 1 minute on my trainer for each dollar donated. So that means 12 1/2 hours.
To put that amount of time in perspective, my total rolling time last August on the 192 miles of the Pan-Mass Challenge was around 11 hours. Yes, that was to be done in two days. But is was also on beautiful Cape Cod, with thousands of people along the rode cheering, with rest stops every 20+ miles, the Pie Stop at Mile 100, and my teammates riding with me. Not that my basement isn’t lovely this time of year…. oh wait!
Obviously, my initial offer to do this on Sunday was foolhardy. But I am trying to complete all of these hours by the end of this coming weekend. I’ve ridden each day this week progressively longer and longer times, so this motivation has actually given my indoor training a boost. Again, thank you! The tough news for me is that even with all I’ve done so far, I’ve only done 3.5 hours total. Yikes! I’ll just have to keep going.
As I try to reach the goals that I laid out in my previous post, I will be sharing my progress towards them each month. Before the Baltimore area gets hit by another embarrassingly devastating 3 inches of snow tomorrow, here goes:
Goal 1: Go Farther. I can only reach this goal in August when I start riding on Friday in Lenox, MA and then end on Sunday in Provincetown, having ridden the whole width of Massachusetts with my teammates. This target motivates me each time I get on my bike, inside on the trainer or outside tackling the hills of Baltimore County.
Goal 2: Go Faster. This means hitting the training and hitting it hard. I accomplished this in January – nearly 10 hours of training bike time over 13 rides. To compare with last year, I am ahead of what I did in January, February, and the 1st half of March combined. I only did 13 hours of indoor training last year total. I’d say that is a solid start.
Goal 3: Fundraise More. I haven’t really asked anyone to donate (BUT YOU CAN RIGHT NOW), so this is going slow, but I am getting ready for a big launch in February. On 2/22/14, it will be the 18th anniversary of my 1st cancer diagnosis and I am asking that everyone donate $18 on that day to help me mark that day. Grand total donated in January is $41, thanks to my mom and dad!
Goal 4: Think Bigger. This means adding new ways for people to support the PMC. I have two already in place for 2014 with more to follow!
First, my high school classmate and independent fantasy author Jamie Tinker. He is donating 1/2 of the proceeds of sales from his first book The Widow’s Warning to the PMC! His book is now available on Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, & Nook! Download and enjoy it today and help cure cancer in the process! Thank you Jamie for your help!
Second, follow this link next time you purchase something from Amazon, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the PMC!
Finally, I’ll share this quote I saw on Twitter this week:
In exactly two months, I’ll be crossing the finish line in Provincetown at the end of my 2-day PMC ride. I have registered 7 times for this event, but my recurrence in 2011 kept me from riding at all and limited my ride in 2012 to only 65 or so miles. So this will be the first time that I will return to Provincetown since I was diagnosed. So much has happened since the day in early August 2010 when I was last crossed that line that, well, just thinking about being able to once again have the opportunity to feel the joy of competing the journey from Sturbridge to Bourne to P-town gives me goosebumps. While I train for this year’s 200 mile ride in the heat and the hills of Baltimore, I am often think about different parts of the PMC, and long for the weekend to be here.
As I continue to train, and hopefully in a sense mark the end of my recovery from chemo, please join me to fund the end of cancer as we know it. 100% of your donation will go to the Jimmy Fund in support of innovative research and compassionate care at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Please follow this link to make your donation today. Thank you!
Each morning, I wake up and check the weather. How warm is it going to be? Can I get outside on my bike today? After a tough and cold ride in mid-January on a day around 50 degrees, which resulted in me spending a few days in bed afterwards, I’ve imposed a ’60 degree’ rule before will even think about going outside.
In the meantime, I have done some training down in the basement. There is no off-season when it comes to the PMC for me. I need to ride and ride and ride like I have never trained before to get ready for the 2 day trek in August. Why? One of the 4 chemo drugs, called bleomycin, that got pumped into me back in 2011, did some damage to my lungs. The good news is that exercise seems to have a positive affect in reversing the damage. This damage is not an acute problem, but I definitely get short of breath faster than I have before. My doctor assures me that I should return to normal with time and continued activity. So train and train and train I will, so that 110 miles on Saturday and another 84 on Sunday will be completed on that first weekend in August.
Along with this basement training, I have been doing a lot of reading. There are two blogs in particular that I have been fascinated by.
The first blog I crossed paths with a while ago. Suleika Jaouad, a 23-year-old writer from Saratoga Springs, has been writing the “Life, Interrupted” blog on NY Times for the last couple of years. She posts weekly about what life as a young adult going through cancer. I was her age during my first diagnosis and treatment. I cannot imagine having the depth and clarity of thought to write so openly at that age.
The second is by Lisa B. Adams (@adamslisa on twitter). Even though I have never met her, or spoken with her, I regularly think about Lisa and her writing, as I find her a must-read follow on Twitter. She also has her own blog and is featured on Huffington Post. I have read and re-read her amazing recent post “The Hardest Conversation“, a breath-taking recap of her discussion with her oldest daughter about having metastatic cancer. It is beautifully candid, thoughtful, and honest and worth a read. She has given me much to think about, especially how, one day, I will be able to talk about my two diagnosis and cancer fights with our daughter Shannon, and how it has shaped me, how it has changed me, and how it changed our lives. For this gift, I will be forever grateful to my online ‘acquaintance’ @adamslisa.
I hope you enjoy these blogs, if you are interested, and that the weather gets above that magic 60 degree mark soon – I have to get out of the basement.
I have to imagine that for the dedicated readers of this space that my annual declaration of “I’m riding this year’s Pan Mass Challenge” and “I have never been more committed to this mission” comes with either little to no surprise at all or some questioning of my sanity. To be perfectly honest, there have been moments in the past where my sanity could be put into question. And there have also been times when I questioned whether or not I wanted to spend the energy to train and fundraise again.
But not after 2011 and 2012. Not again. I am….
The Training – Necessary
The Fundraising – Very Necessary
The Mission – Required
My personal goals this year are to raise $10,000 and to ride from Sturbridge to Bourne to Provincetown, over 190 miles in 2 days, for the first time since I was diagnosed with my recurrence. I have already started training for the ride, earlier than I have ever started before. I’ll take care of the cycling part, but I need your help to make my fundraising goal!
Here’s the deal – between now and Saturday, August 3rd (a span of 206 days) when I start on the road for a 192-mile weekend bike ride at 5:30 AM, please make a donation to the PMC and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute AND ask a friend to do it too! Each day, each donation, and each mile, we are closer to a cure.