Monday, July 6, 2015

PMC & Prouty Training

Although long overdue for an update, I finally feel like I've caught my breath since the collegiate rowing season ended this spring on May 17. Wrapping up the fiscal year, getting on top of recruiting, and sorting out my first year of head-coach coaching seemed to take at least as much time as I could provide. Once we were off the water, I continued to have fun traveling to regattas to recruit and/or to work as a referee (always fun to don the blue blazer and pick up the flags). At the same time, all of my post-season travel has had a homecoming feel to it of sorts. NEIRAs were in Worcester where I'd been for so many years for the Men's Eastern Sprints each May. Then, USRowing Youth National Championships took me back to Sarasota FL, where after training camps for so many years, I got to see the race course in action. This was particularly exciting as I had first seen it when it was only in the planning stages. Equally exciting but involving far greater travel and a slightly shifted venue was a quick trip to the UK in June for the Henley Women's Regatta. I hadn't been there since the Royal Henley in 2003. Not only is rowing a small world in a social sense, it further appears to be a small world in a physical sense as well with past, present, and future all overlapping.

With the end of the season and the true arrival of spring, another opportunity presented. I finally took my bike training outdoors to continue preparing for the Pan-Mass Challenge. A wonderful friend connected me with the Upper Valley Women's Cycling Club. I have to say I have loved every minute of every mile. I've included a few photos of my training rides below - the first one is from my very first group ride. I was very nervous, more than I had expected. For one, it had been decades since I did any kind of training ride. To calm my nerves, I kept reminding myself that the group promised rides at all levels from beginners to hard core. But as I got on my bike and cycled over to the meeting point, the whole reason for the training ride became one of those cascading triggers that can catch me off guard - I'm training so I can ride (ok) in the PMC (still ok) to raise money for cancer research (ok, a great cause) because I am a cancer survivor (stops being really ok for a while). Before I knew it, I was really working hard at holding it all together. Fortunately, the mile ride to the meeting point didn't give me enough time to totally come apart at the seams, and sunglasses and group introductions gave me the opportunity to put it all back into perspective. Once the group pulled out to begin the ride, however, I did choke up a couple more times, but then the fun of being in a group and the incredible scenery took over and I was fine.

With only 25 days to go till the PMC, I am also getting ready for the Prouty here in Hanover NH. It is a ride supporting cancer research and patient services at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock where I had my radiation treatment. Aside from raising money for a great cause - defeating cancer, I'm also looking forward to riding 100 miles in one go this Saturday, July 11. (The actual course is 96.7 miles, but it will top out at 100 if I include riding to the starting point from home and back again.)

The PMC is August 1-2. I'll be riding with long time friend and supporter-extraordinaire, Saiya Remmler. We may or may not officially be Team Muri, with or without official uniforms, but Saiya is the ringleader and a major source of inspiration to me so I am all in. We will start in Sturbridge MA, on the August 1, and finish the next day in Provincetown, 192 miles later. The link to my PMC page is My goal is to raise $5000, 100% of which will go directly to the Dana-Farber for research and treatment.

My first ride with UVWCC (middle rider) - in sneakers since 
I couldn't find my shoes.

On another group ride, this time sporting my Long Beach 
RA cycling top!

Post-rainy ride in Watertown MA.

On my Connecticut River
Short Bridge Loop > 20 miles.

Panoramic view of the bridge in Lyme crossing the Connecticut River into VT - Hanover to Lyme and back.

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