Here Goes Nothing! Embarking on CAF’s Million Dollar Challenge.

Well guys, here goes nothing! Here I am sitting at the airport on a Thursday afternoon preparing to leave for San Francisco. to embark on one of the biggest challenges I’ve decided to conquer. On Saturday, I will start my journey through CAF’s Mazda Million Dollar Challenge (MDC), a bike ride from San Francisco to San Diego. It’s going to trying at points but I also know it is going to be one of the best weeks of my life! I’m told it’s like summer camp for adults… unless that’s how I got lured into doing this and it’s nothing like that! I am full of excitement, nerves and perhaps sheer terror but I know I’ve prepared for this!

 

Let’s start at the beginning….

When I started toying with the idea of applying to participate in MDC, I tried to convince myself several times NOT to do it! I wasn’t sure I could commit and to be quite honest, since I took a break from triathlon a few years ago I hadn’t dedicated myself to something this athletically since then! I was scared I’d be too out of shape and slow. But I also REALLY wanted to challenge myself this year.

This has been the year of challenges as I celebrated my 10 years cancer-free! So I signed up for a lot of fun things I’ve always wanted to do! Ragnar Relay (Huntington Beach to SD on a running relay team), Spin Certification, and lots of other things.

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Just running our way across Southern California!

So after a few discussions with the Challenged Athletes Foundation wonderful staff, I was sold on participating. When I arrived for our first training ride of 41 miles, I was incredibly nervous! Everyone seemed to know each other and I was the only one on a tri bike. I learned pretty quickly how welcoming a group this was when many of the ride leaders took me under their wings. After my first ride, I knew a few things- I had to get off this tri bike (everyone was teasing me!), I had a lot of training to do, and this was going to be fun!

We trained nearly every Sunday through heat, rain, and sore muscles! Rides increased from 41 to 60 to 82 to 95. How easy that initial 41 miler seems now! I’ve developed some great friendships with fellow riders, learned wonderful things about how they got involved with CAF and seen parts of San Diego I NEVER thought I’d see! Our ride leaders have taught us to be better bike handlers, stronger climbers, and to believe we can complete this ride!

Cruising down from Anaheim to SD, a short 80 miles!

Cruising down from Anaheim to SD, a short 80 miles!

And now after many months of these long Sunday training rides, the event is finally here!

 

I invite you to follow this blog over the next week or so and share the journey with me as I ride from San Francisco to San Diego!

 

I’d also like to take this first post as a chance to thank some VERY important people!

1. A big shout out to my many, generous donors who pushed me past my fundraising goal! Knowing I have the support of each of you has made each training ride a little easier!

2. I’d especially like to take a moment to thank David Reiger, a CAF athlete, for encouraging his donors and supporters to support another Challenged Athlete. David generously encouraged his donors to donate to my goal since he knew I was struggling to reach it. Fundraising isn’t always easy!

3. Thank you to those donors who may not even know me! It is your generosity that really pushed me recently and made me believe I could do this!

4. Lastly, thank you to my wonderful friends who have put up with my dedication to riding the past few months and have tried to pretend I’m not crazy every time I get one of these ideas in my head. I missed out on some fun, acted like a grandma on most Saturday nights and missed quite a few football games on Sunday mornings (obviously not Charger games)!

5. Thank you to the CAF staff who is out there supporting us every Sunday!

So here goes nothing!

 

Below is our route list so you can enjoy this journey with me!

Day 1: San Francisco to Santa Cruz- 89 miles

Day 2: Santa Cruz to Big Sur- 86 miles

Day 3: Big Sur to Pismo Beach- 114 miles

Day 4: Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara- 121 mile (!!!)

Day 5: Santa Barbara to Santa Monica- 86 miles

Day 6: Santa Monica to Dana Point- 72 miles

Day 7: Dana Point to La Jolla- 55 miles

 

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