10.07.2011

The Green Girl's Tour DaVita Report


Tour DaVita Welcome Riders! sign at HFD
The Green Girl and Lexa rode 260 miles over the course of three days and completed their first century when they crossed the Tour DaVita Finish Line.

I participated in Tour DaVita to raise money for The Kidney TRUST, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of kidney disease through public education and testing programs.


Tour DaVita route map


The theme of the tour was 'The Spirit of the Ride'. We were asked to 'Create the Spirit of the Ride', 'Respect the Spirit of the Ride', and 'Remember the Spirit of the Ride'.


Tour DaVita Day 1 Route Map
Each morning, route maps were handed out at breakfast to supplement the course signage.

Tour DaVita Day 1 consisted of a loop around Great Barrington, MA, that actually took us through three states - Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.

The morning was cool and crisp as we headed out.

Since I had to ship Lexa out ahead of time, I hadn't cycled in over a week and it felt good to ride again.

The Green Girl's lunch - Grilled Chicken & Guacamole Wrap, macaroni salad, Coke, and a chocolate chip cookie
My strategy was to ride at a comfortable pace the first day, take it easy the second day, and then really push the third day for the century.

Lunch was at the Norman Rockwell Museum.

I had planned on visiting the museum but Mr. Green Garmin let me know I was well under my expected 14 mph average at just below 10 mph so I opted to keep going.


Tour DaVita back roads
The breathtaking landscape along the back roads we traversed was sprinkled with glimpses of rich autumn colors.

All the Tour DaVita riders were incredibly supportive and encouraging along the route. It's amazing how a few positive words can be so powerful.

I was pleased with how strong I felt at the end of the 86.5 mile ride.

Tour DaVita Rest Stop
My legs felt good going into Tour DaVita Day 2 but my lower back was tight.

It was another beautiful day with clear skies and pleasant breezes.

According to plan, Lexa and I took it easy.

At each Rest Stop, I did yoga stretching to relieve the tension in my lower back.


A tractor passing by
Some of the reactions when people saw my name on my bib were really amusing.

They would make comments like 'Oh, you're the girl who sends out all those Reggie* is up, Reggie is down, oh, Reggie is back up emails!' and a few riders asked me if I ever sleep since I'd been sending a number of emails at odd hours.


The Green Girl and Aaron
One of the highlights of Day 2 was being able to ride with a teammate from the Tacoma, WA, office, Aaron.

We rolled through miles and miles of open fields spotted with barns and grazing cows.

We even went by a giant wooden structure filled with hanging hides.


The Green Girl and a Tractor Crossing sign
We learned to appreciate little things like momentum gained from a downhill that helped push us up the upcoming hill.

Aside from my increasingly tight back, I felt good at the end of the 75 mile ride. I didn't feel fatigued and my legs still felt strong.

I yearned to go for a run but I told myself I needed to conserve my legs for the century.

I could not have asked for a better way to start off Tour DaVita Day 3 when Stephanie from Running to Health offered to come and start off the ride with Lexa and me.


The Green Girl and Stephanie from Running to Health
I was thrilled to be able to meet a fellow running/cycling blogger but I got really excited when she asked me if I wanted her to bring me anything.

I immediately asked for a Dunkin' Donuts Boston Creme. I mean what more could a Green Girl ask for?

I was grateful for the tasty breakfast and the company. Chatting with Stephanie helped take my mind off my lower back and it was good to ride with a fresh pair of legs.

Drizzling rain dampened Day 3. Lexa and I had never ridden in the rain before so I was somewhat apprehensive but there was never a downpour.


Rainy Tour DaVita Day 3
I was concerned the precipitation would slow Lexa and me down but we were making really good time when we arrived at the 40 mile mark lunch stop at the DaVita Middletown Clinic.

I ate quickly, stretched out my lower back as much as possible, and headed back out with Lexa.

My legs were still feeling good but each uphill made my lower back even tighter. I spent a lot of time trying to do 'sitting' Marjarasana (Cat Cow) to ease the tension.


Hang Tough
I really struggled from mile 75 on.

I had taken some ibuprofen at lunch but it didn't ease the back pain so a few hours later at a Rest Stop, I popped a couple acetaminophen.

I dug deep. I took a number of stretch breaks. I really focused on breathing out the tension.


Riding along the Long Island Sound
I reminded myself over and over that all I needed to do was cross that Finish Line and then I could go for a run. The prospect of going for a run was one of the only things that kept me going.

The stretch along the Long Island Sound was exceptionally windy and I tried my best to maintain a respectable speed.


The Tour DaVita Finish Line
The cheerful yells and cowbells were a welcome sound as Lexa and I approached the Finish Line of our very first century.

Aaron was there cheering on the riders as they crossed the finish.

He snapped some pictures of Lexa and me and walked me to the table to get my finisher's medal.


The Green Girl at the Finish Line of her very first century
Filled with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, I headed over to the tents so I could change into my running clothes and go for my victory run.

Lexa, we did it. We rode 260 miles and completed our first century together!

* The Green Girl is the support girl for the Reggie application

17 comments:

  1. Big congrats! Way to power through physical and mental hurdles. Inspiring strength!

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  2. You Are Freaking AWESOME!!! I am so proud of you girl!! Now go kick some serious marathon butt on Sunday!! love, love, love ya!!!

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  3. Wow ... I've been out of the blog loop for some time ... you've come a long way with your riding in a short span. Way to go with all the mileage - awesome!

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  4. Congratulations on your accomplishment! You have some awesome perseverance and determination! Very impressive!

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  5. Great Job!! I love the pictures and love that you had such a wonderful time. I hope your back is feeling better soon.

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  6. Wow! That's incredible! Congratulations!

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  7. You are such a rockstar!! Loved the recap, you worked so hard to get to the finish. It was so awesome to get to ride & chat with you, and I'm glad you loved the donut!

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  8. That's awesome you rode through CT...my home state! You also ate some food from Mystic Market, one of my favorites!

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  9. Congratulations!

    Great to push through to the finish!

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  10. Hey! Congrats to you and Lexa! :) I'm jealous. How I wish I'm brave like you. My friends keep on asking me to join them on a weekend long ride, but I'm kind of hesitant to do it. I never done long rides. And they're all boys. I'm afraid I might slow them down.
    BTW, have you heard of biofreeze pain reliever? I heard its good in relieving muscle pain and the like. You might want to use it next time when the pain strikes. :)
    Anyway, you really did a great job out there. Keep it up!

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  11. Sorry I'm so late at commenting here but at least I've been in touch via FB. Congratulations again! You did so well and can be so proud of your achievement. I hope your back recovered well. I often find during long ultra runs my lower back gets tight. This is more so on the road and doesn't really bother me on the trails.

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  12. Green Girl you are SO inspiring!!! I love this post! What an amazing experience! I really, really, really want to do this next year. I can't imagine 260 miles!! My back gets tight after just 25 miles. Great job for pushing through and getting across that finish line. ☺

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