Pasta Party Prep


Friday night was a whirlwind of activity, as everyone tried to stay calm whilst running around crazily making last minute ride preparations. Team in Training rounded us up for a carb-heavy early dinner (seriously, who eats at 5pm? I am not even on the train home by then!). We ran the gauntlet of cheering, clapping, cowbell ringing, stick beating, back smacking mentors and coaches into the private room at the bottom of the Marriott to feast on mass-prepared pasta and fruit. I will say, as far as mass-prepared food goes, this wasn’t bad. Much tastier than the rain-soaked fare in Honolulu at least!

Dinner-time entertainment, also known as speeches by a TNT staffer, was distracting at best, embarrasingly painful to watch at worst (seriously, the speaker seemed super-sweet…but could have run through those notes at least once before subjecting the public at large to them). The nervy cyclists thankfully bore it in good grace – not that I would have minded some pasta party food fight throw-down to liven things up – and after a few “GO TEAM”s were allowed to return to the main task at hand. Eating.

 

Team Wolverine, all carb’d up. Don’t we look excited?

When the tummy rumblings finally died down, Coach Matt pulled us together for a few last words of wisdom. I’m sure he mentioned something other than “stay hydrated”, “remember to eat”, and “be safe”…but I can’t swear to that with any degree of certainty. (My mind was doing important things like…taking pictures! And…mentally reviewing checklists!) The large team broke into ride groups for some more last minute advice – be safe? have fun? – and firmed up a meeting time later in the night for some mysterious, but important activity.

I managed to secure several crack-baggies of Cytomax (thanks Andy and Michelle!) before our ride group pow-wow in Room “Some Vineyards Name”. That’s right, Coach Devan was all fancy and secured his very own suite! The mystery task was soon revealed, as Devan, Leigh Ann and Andy tried to work out the intricacies of iron-on patches between them. Apparently there aren’t really many non X-men related “wolverines” that you could fit on a helmet!

 

The finished product:

 

A “few” minutes and at least one failed attempt later, our jerseys were branded and we almost could have been mistaken for a real live cycle team. I think the freakishly bright TNT green and purple jerseys definitely mark us as something less than pro. Just a touch, mind you!

 

Billiards and Beer. How True Cyclists Prep for a Century

Charles and I met up with a few other teammates for rounds of pool, beer, or in our case…a card game called Guillotine. Hey, whatever it takes to relax, right? I refrained from adding the beer carbs knowing that I was going to need every edge I could get come Saturday, and did my best to burn off some nerves focusing on cards. Getting thoroughly trounced three games in a row was enough to convince me that I should probably just pack and go to bed. We left a few more hardcore teammates to their billiards, and I spent the next hour or so packing my gear ever so carefully for the morning’s ride. Hit the sack around ten and the proceeded to wake up every 30 minutes and watch the clock…right up until 5:30 when my alarm was set to go off. No…I wasn’t nervous…but who trusts hotel alarm clocks, right?

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What do we have here?

An often sarcastic, occasionally humorous journal of my training adventures in preparation for the Livestrong century ride. I took up cycling back in '07 in hopes of meeting new people, and, with the help of Team in Training, making my small positive difference in the world -- and haven't stopped spinning since. Follow along as my Trek road bike and I try and hash out our differences, hopefully with me upright and in the saddle.

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