It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and in an effort to force myself to get back in to it, I’m giving myself no more than 24 minutes to write this post about 24 Hours of Booty.
First of all, I want to thank everyone involved in this event, my teammates, friends and donors. And especially all of those who inspire me, like Sue Falco, Mike Mitchell, John Rubinich, Susan Campagna, Amy Jones and Matt Hurlock.
This was the second year that I’ve been involved in 24HOB. Last year, Lauren’s parents couldn’t take part, so we got their spots with a month to go, and didn’t really train at all. It was a hot day, I really hadn’t spent much time on my bike, and we logged around 40 miles.
But the overall experience was still great. The Booty Loop is a fantastic feature in Charlotte, and I think it spoiled me in many ways. There’s just something great about having a loop already set up for running or riding, with parking and water along the way, that you can head to at any time (except Sunday mornings, church parking makes it tough).
We were excited to come back to join Bootyville again this year, especially since we had our own team (team jerseys are still in the design phase), and would be joined by a group of friends. We still didn’t train for it, and our fundraising was woefully neglected for a while, but I was still looking forward to a fantastic weekend in Charlotte.
Lauren had a dress fitting in Raleigh on Friday morning, so I packed up Su-bee with my bike, Millie and all sorts of camping gear, and drove down to Charlotte solo. Due to an early morning workout and planning session with Andrew, I hit the road later than I had hoped. Luckily, Gray stepped up and reserved some space for us right as Bootyville Camping opened up, so we had a prime spot with plenty of space for our tents.
Setup was easy, and I visually inspected our bikes to make sure there weren’t any major issues, before nervous tension set in and I started bouncing around, waiting for the start.
You see, I’m not a cyclist. My bike, which is ~1.5 years old, has less than 400 miles on it. Other than my previous Booty experience, I’ve had one group cycling experience, when Lauren, her parents and I did a few laps around Booty last year. So I’m still not comfortable in groups.
My one saving grace is my running experience. Apparently, that helps my legs stay in cycling-shape, so that I can last longer than most newbie cyclists (TWSS). BTW, 13 minutes left and I’m sweating (maybe it’s the window and sun by my face). So I had no idea what I could do at Booty, or what I would do. Last year, it was just too hot, and we weren’t very motivated to keep pushing. This year, Lauren had promised her donors at least 100k (62 miles (~20 laps)), which was a great goal for her, but I didn’t have any plans to do more than 45 miles, just to surpass last year.
When we started, it was slow, as usual. There was a big group on Hopedale, possibly all due to Team Reeb, that bottlenecked everyone, due to the kids in the street looking for high 5’s. I have nothing against kids, or celebratory hand slaps, but I’m not a fan of those two forces combining near the top of a climb, since it forces everyone else to slow down while still trying to stay up on their bikes.
But then we were back on Queens, and I was feeling good. So good, in fact, that while everyone else had agreed to stop after one lap, I ended up doing five before stopping for dinner. And, that last lap was apparently my fastest Booty lap ever, thanks to the pace lines I had hooked up with, covering the ~2.9 miles in 9 minutes even.
After dinner, we hung out for a bit, and then everyone got ready for more riding. Dominique was aiming for 100 miles, without stopping, and some of her friends were joining her. That was far too intense for me, so Lauren and I simply went out and logged some miles. Unfortunately, a bump during the 2012 24HOB had left her seat a bit messed up, so Lauren’s back started hurting within a few laps, and she pulled in for the night. I kept going, while still aware of my own painful back and butt and arms and hips, so I stopped at around 11 pm or so. I had covered around 35 miles that evening, and was quite happy with my performance so far.
Midnight brought Midnight Pizza in Bootyville, which featured ~150 pizza pies, and a long line waiting for them. Props to Fuel Pizza for supplying them, it was a delicious boost at the end of the day, especially when combined with Sue Falco’s birthday cake for Lauren, which tasted amazing at 12:15 am.
I woke up at 5:20 am to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and deserted roads, hitting the Loop before 6 am, and instantly hooking up with a fantastic pace line. Sadly, after around 2 laps, I got a bit squirrely in my attempt to take the lead spot for a lap, and they didn’t bother to catch up. However, my tail did join me, and we shared another 5 laps together. His name was Joe, he’s from Arizona, and he had promised to ride a mile for each person’s life affected by cancer that posted on his wall. He had to ride 144 miles, and was around 115 when I rode with him. His mother and aunt were the ones who stayed in front of Queens U all night with the cowbells. Fantastic guy, great story, and I loved sharing the miles with him.
Lauren joined us for 3 laps, and then we headed in for breakfast. I think this might be the biggest issue for me, fueling during cycling. Since I’m primarily used to 5k/10k/half racing, I don’t usually worry about eating. And even in my longer events, I’m pretty minimal, which works for me. But in cycling, I think I need to work on keeping my energy levels up, because I certainly scarfed down plenty of food during our breaks.
Post-breakfast brought the end of our laps, we knocked out a whole bunch more, and I ended up with just over 50 miles on the morning, for a grand total of 86 miles. Not bad for a base of 50 minutes on my bike this year, all of which was on the trainer. Lauren was easily going to meet her 100k goal, but major rain showers left us quite concerned about safety on the course, and so we called it a day. She managed 55 miles, and definitely would have hit her goal had her seat been right from the beginning, or if the storms had held off for another hour.
24HOB is a great event, and I’m thankful to have been a part of it. Our team raised nearly $7000, and the overall total was more than $1.3 million. The lead fundraiser brought in more than $84,000, and his page says it best. “They have no answers to cancer. We need to change that today!!”
I can’t wait for next year, especially since I plan on training and fundraising more. Let’s kick cancer’s ass!