4.47.59 Charity Ride

On Saturday I completed my longest, hardest, sweatiest indoor trainer session to date. 4 hours 47 minutes 59 seconds. I was participating in Tyler Stewart’s, It Takes a Revolution, charity event in San Francisco, CA.

Why ride a bike for 4 hours 47 minutes and 59 seconds? In 2007 at Ironman Florida, Tyler set the world record for the fastest Ironman bike split, of 4 hours 47 minutes and 59 seconds.

Why did I participate? I have known Tyler for a few years now from racing together across the US. Last November, Matt Dixon introduced me to Meredith Kessler, who has now become a great, close friend of mine. Meredith and Tyler were putting on the event. Finally - Rachel Joyce is another purplepatch athlete who was coming into town for the event. Together, the four of us, make up the purplepatch ladies! It was a great opportunity to bring us all together, raise money and awareness for two great charities, and also prepare for the Ironman Hawaii which is taking place in 4 short weeks.

What were the charities? It was a pretty special night as Tyler selected two charities (the Breast Cancer Fund and the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s) that were close to her husband, Johnny’s family. As a wife, I can relate to the tremendous support that a husband plays in your Ironman racing career. I thought these charities were a great tribute to Johnny’s family. At the start of the ride, Tyler showed a video of Johnny’s dad, who has Parkinson’s. It set the tone for a great 4 hours 47 minutes and 59 seconds of riding. We were all there for different reasons, but working together for similar causes.

How it went down: While I am a big fan of indoor training and have suffered through many sessions myself, this day proved to be a big challenge. A group of 40 of us split up into two rooms at Velo SF and Tyler led one group, while Meredith led another. Half-way through, the two swapped rooms and we pedaled on. It was great to see the collection of people brought together, sweating, and working hard. As the hours ticked by, Jerry, Diane, Matt, and several other great supporters kept us amped up with soda, fueled with CLIF products, and motivated with a great workout. It wasn’t the amount of time on the bike that proved to be the real challenge - it was the culmination of being hot, the high intensity of the workout, and the Ironman fatigue built up in my legs. We turned and burned finishing off with the last 60 minutes as 6x10 minutes of high end work and built our way into the final frenzy of 3, 6, and 9 minutes max effort.

The aftermath: the whole group did a wonderful job! While most of the party-goers enjoyed music, beverages, treats, and a shower - the Hawaii qualifiers got to enjoy a brisk run on the Embarcadero. When it was all said and done, me and Missy Meredith were ready for burgers and fries, so off to Houston’s we went with some of Meredith’s close friends.

That’s a wrap - a whirlwind and memorable weekend in San Francisco! I am already looking forward to my next trip back. A big thank you to super Mere and AK, MBK super friend - Jen - for dinner, Tyler, Matty Dixon, nice-as-pie Rachel Joyce, Travis Blanton, and Chris Corbin, of course!

I am home for a week, then off to the tropics - HAWAII and the IRONMAN is calling my name!