The Last One for 2012
Jun 05, 2012 by Jeff Dore
To all my dear Donors, Family and Friends,
This should be my last post from the 2012 Team In Training Season. We made it! 100 miles on bicycles, and we made it! Two days later and I'm still tired, but also still emotional, thrilled, satisfied, whooped and totally, absolutely honored.
Because you backed me, I trained for four long, hard months. I gave up Saturdays completely to training and the exhaustion that followed, so I haven't had a haircut (Saturdays were the only days I could get them) for the last 3 months. I'm shaggy.
Because you backed me, I started with a 15-mile training ride, which I found challenging, and the next week added 5 miles, and the next week added more, and eventually topped out at 75. But 100 loomed, and I fretted, but my wonderful coaches and mentors with Team in Training kept telling me, "if you can do 75 on the hilly courses we trained on, you can do the Fletcher Flyer." So I did it.
I was shocked when the coach told me that, because I was the "Honored Teammate," (meaning I had survived blood cancer), I would lead our team for the first mile. I was embarrassed at first, but at about mile 3 it hit me; I had not only survived leukemia, but had made it 8 years, and got to lead a leukemia fighting army out into battle to keep the fight going for others! What an emotional thrill!
We rode a long time. During training, we found other slow riders like me and we formed a sub-team. We stuck together. When someone slipped a chain, we all stopped. When someone needed to race to the bushes ('nuff said) we all stopped (lotta hydratin' going on). When a teammate's leg cramped, we all stopped.
At mile 83, my butt hurt horribly and we were on an endless uphill climb and I thought, "this is the worst thing I've ever done." But the TEAM kept me going. At mile 91, our captain, Kelli, revealed another Team In Training tradition; the Honored Teammmate would lead our group across the finish line. So I was emotional (I bet a lot from exhaustion) for the rest of the way, and absolutely overwhelmed crossing the finish line at the head of my group, with our wives and families clanging cowbells and screaming (I'm tearing up again writing this) and couldn't even talk for the first ten minutes. Too overwhelmed.
My wonderful wife, Gail, gave birth to our children. That is the hardest and the best thing in our lives and always will be. But for me, this was the hardest. The last ten miles were nothing but determination, to not let down my wonderful supporters; not just the ones who gave money to figtht blood cancers, but the ones who encouraged me along the way. Especially Gail, my wonderful wife, who said goodbye at 6:00 every Saturday morning for 4 months and watched me collapse on the couch every Saturday afternoon and was there at the finish line in Fletcher.
I don't know if riding 100 miles adds years to your life or beats them off of it, but it made this one of the most meaningful years of my life and, thanks to your support, added years to countless other lives. Thank you,
It's Getting Serious Now
May 18, 2012 by Jeff Dore
We are just two weeks away from the 100-mile bike ride and the training sessions are serious. Tomorrow we ride 75 miles in South Fulton County. The weather will be hot.
The cause is serious, too; we have committed to ride 100 miles in hopes we can get you to commit your support to fight blood cancers. Leukemia is one; it nearly killed me, and it DID kill my father-in-law. We are riding as Team In Training of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. One of the former teammates died this week from blood cancer. This is deadly serious business.
So I ask you to click on the link and make this bike ride a big success. Until I got on Team In Training, my longest bike ride was 62 miles and I thought that was pretty darned heroic. Now we are TRAINING with a 75-mile ride! So please, help make it all worthwhile.
Thank you so much. Wish me luck. To tell you the truth, at about mile 35, that bike seat starts KILLING my butt. But we keep pedalling.
Tough Day Riding!
May 06, 2012 by Jeff Dore
Tough day, but my supporters are making it worth it, right? Our Team In Training group of bike riders did big, hilly loops in and out of Fulton, Forsyth and Cherokee Counties Saturday; 70 miles of them. For the first time, the heat was a big issue; I drank 8 big bike bottles of water and Gatorade and at the end felt like I'd been run over. But the finish is in sight; our 100-mile ride to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is less than a month away. So we have two ends in mind; complete the "century" ride, and raise money to fight blood cancers.
I am very, very grateful to all the people who have clicked on the donation button to the right. I've met so many victims and survivors of blood cancers doing this training, I am more committed than ever.
On The Road
May 01, 2012 by Jeff Dore
Last Saturday, I rode with the Team In Training group 68 miles, including from the bottom to the top of Pine Mountain, Georgia, which included TWO long, steep hills the veterans cutely called "The Wall." During the ride, one rider succumbed to the 90+ degree heat and one crashed and needed an ambulance. We all were dog-tired, having set, for many of us, personal distance records. Next week, we add 5 miles, and the next week 5 more.
Why, besides insanity, are we doing this? The simple reason is we are training to ride 100 miles on June 3 in Fletcher, NC, to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The deeper reason is that so many of us have been touched by blood cancers; I am in remission with leukemia. Leukemia killed my father-in-law. Fellow-riders have blood-curdling stories of survival and death from blood cancers. We want to fight them.
And finally, we do it because we strike a bargain with you; you make a donation by clicking RIGHT NOW on this website (so it doesn't go to the bottom of your to-do list), and for our part, we ride hundreds and hundreds of miles in training, and then 100 miles in the actual event, as our part of the fund-raising bargain.
So please, start a bargain, will you? I was up at 5:15 this morning and on the bike. My butt hurts. My legs are tired. The cause is important. I'm in remission, not cured; if my leukemia comes back, I want to know we all did everything we could to find a cure.
I'm Doing My Part...
Apr 19, 2012 by Jeff Dore
I hope you know, when I ask you to be part of the fund-raising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, I'm doing my part, too. Every Saturday morning I get together with my Team In Training teammates for a Group Training Ride. We add 5 miles each week. Last week we pedalled 55 miles. The next day I did another 30 with a friend. We ride during the week (stress alert; I can't find the time to get in the miles I should!!!). It's hard, tiring, I get leg cramps at night...and fantastic.
Each week as we gather for the ride, someone shares their story about why they are passionate for this cause. My reason, of course, is the leukemia that my doctor said would kill me within two years if I didn't do chemo. I did; eight years ago. Others had way more harrowing tales of their own, of their children, a sister, some who survived, some who died. And so we pedal our hearts out.
We do it so you will know we are doing our part, training for the June 3 Fletcher Flyer 100-mile ride in North Carolina. We do it to let you know fighting blood cancers and supporting people going through them is worth all the work and worth all the money you can send.
This Saturday, April 21, we will bike 60 miles. Surely, you could donate a dollar or two per mile (just think; this appeal would have been a lot cheaper if you'd donated a month ago! And it's gonna get steeper).
Please don't put this off, don't let it fall to the bottom of your email inbox and stay lost. Please donate right now.