75km Ride For Heart Complete

WOW!  I did it 😀 … WE did it!

Yesterday I successfully completed 75km and fundraised $1101 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Thirteen thousand other riders who rode varying distances between 25k to 75k combined their fundraising efforts and together we raised a total of over

5 MILLION DOLLARS

It was amazing to be part of the 25th anniversary of the Ride for Heart and to be able to help reach this amazing goal.

Shall I recap you?

I’ll rewind to Saturday.  Brad and I kept watching the forecast and it kept calling for rain Sunday morning.  We headed to the mall for rain coats.  When we got home we spent the remainder of the evening eating and hydrating.  I can’t even tell you how many calories we ate the night before, but it was a LOT.  I was chugging water, sports drinks, herbal tea for hours on Sunday afternoon and evening.

At 4am on Sunday morning we woke up and it was ride day.

I had planned to eat two bagels and a banana before we headed out.  My stomach was in knots.  I was far too nervous to eat and I barely got down half of a bagel.  I was so thankful that Leah my west coast bff was still awake.  She was sending me ridiculous Facebook chat messages and it took my mind off of things while I choked down that half bagel, some water, and got dressed.

Just after 5am Brad and I got on our bikes to head down to the start line.

I was feeling a bit chilly, my inured muscles were tight and I was still nervous when we arrived at Exhibition.  I stretched, Brad got some air in his tire and the start line opened and riders were starting.  We crossed the starting line around 6:10am.

First leg – the Gardiner.  The sun was still rising.

It didn’t take long before we were on the DVP.

Rest stop #1.  I had an energy shot and some water. (I trained with and consumed on race day the Vega endurance gels in raspberry – these were the KEY to keeping me going.  They don’t taste great, but they’re the most natural fuel shots I could find).   I instantly felt better after the energy shot.  Because I ate so little for breakfast I was dragging in the first leg and starting to worry about my endurance.

Rest stop #2.  This was the half way point for the 50k riders.  There were some rolling hills to get to this point, it was at York Mills (for any GTA readers).  I was surprised by the ups and downs on the DVP and desperately wished I had trained with more hills.

The way the course is set up is that the 75k riders head from York Mills to Bayview, then turn around and loop back up to York Mills (yes we go back for more of the rolling hills).

When we hit Bayview and started heading back up the loop and I turned to Brad and said “so it’s official, we’re doing the whole course.”  During training, especially during my injuries, everyone kept asking if I was going to drop down to the 50k distance.  I kept telling everyone (including you guys) that I would keep my options open until I hit that turn around point.  I was so relieved that my body was cooperating.  At that point I started to smell my victory … but man did I have a lot of kilometres left to go.

On the second loop we came upon an accident getting cleaned up (fire truck, police still there, ambulance gone) at the bottom of one of the hills, apparently it was a bad crash.  I hope the injured rider is okay!

I had to get out of my seat for all of the hills because of my pulled hip muscles.  It burned my legs but loosed up the hip a bit.

When we hit the top of York Mills again we were going into “no mans land.”  We were 45k in and 3 hours in.  Our longest training was 55k or 4 hours.  We were about to cross into the part of the ride that “no man” in our house had trained for.

I kept trucking along.  In fact I was having MORE fun in the last half of the ride than in the first.  I started to relax and started to realize that I was going to make it.

Final rest stop.  Look still smiling!

I skipped my energy shot because my stomach was starting to act just a little bit upset and just had water and bananas.  I used a total of six rest stops, had five energy shots, and a bunch of bananas, oranges and water.  None of our rest stops were for too long.  Just a minute or two to get some fuel and stretch.  The stretching was the most important.

Bringing it home!  We headed back to the Gardiner and seeing the CN Tower getting closer felt SO GOOD!

WE DID IT!!!!!

I’m emotional again just writing about it!

We had so many set backs in the last month.  I was in that car accident, Brad crashed that motor bike, man, I didn’t know if we’d make it to ride day.  And after pulling those muscles on my last training ride, I worried so much last week, doubting my body would cooperate.  Honestly, I spent a good part of last week limping or working from my bed with my hip stretched out.

I credit my victory to a combination of some very important things:

  • disciplined training
  • (mostly 😉 ) clean eating
  • physical therapy (my doctor deserves a medal!)
  • and most importantly a TONNE of encouragement from Brad, my friends, my family, and my online community – THANK YOU!

My Ride for Heart experience was so FUN and gave me such a feeling of ACCOMPLISHMENT.  I may already be talking about next year’s ride 😉

THANKS to my sponsors and donors for all of the fundraising support.  It was a very special experience to participate in my first Ride for Heart as a VIP fundraiser.

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