Share the Road. Share the Journey.

SAG Drivers Needed
Feb 18, 2014 by Keeley Puncochar

Beloved Friends & Family,

I hope you're having a wonderful week, and enjoying the warmer weather ahead! For me, warmer weather means that Jon and I can finally get our Team In Training (TNT) Cycle team on their bikes outdoors. As a safety measure, and as a way for friends and family to support our team, aside from monetary donations, TNT asks their coaches to recruit Support & Gear (SAG) drivers, to help us out with water/snack stops along the way, and to provide a lift for any teammates who are having a tough day and can't finish the route. As a close friend, and past supporter of my Team In Training fundraising efforts, I'm reaching out to see if you'd be interested in giving up part of a Saturday morning, sometime between this weekend and mid-June, to help out as SAG Driver. Whether you sign up for just one shift, or multiple weekends, your time-donation will be appreciated immensely by 10 very excited cyclists!

We are all out there riding to raise money for LLS, as many of us (and several of you) have connections to blood cancers. We start each ride with a Mission Moment, in which we invite someone to share their story about why they train, or why they support LLS, in the fight against cancer. If you have any kind of connection to cancer, and would like to personally share your story with our team (as a source of inspiration as we push through some really long miles ahead), I encourage you to snag one of the 6:45am slots and be our honored mission moment speaker. (Yes, I know 6:45am is early... it's early for us too, but we need to remind ourselves that what we're doing is important, and that being out there at 6:45am is way better than battling cancer!)

We will supply our SAG drivers with a bike pump, bike rack, and first aid kit, if you don't already have these items. We will also try to supply a filled water cooler and some snacks for our SAG driver to set out a couple times along the course. There is no need for you to provide anything, except your time and a vehicle, when you volunteer as SAG. In fact, we are OK if you run errands during your SAG shift, so long as you're with in 15-20 minutes away to be "on call" in case of emergency. Our SAG drivers will receive a copy of our course for the day, and can also follow our progress on an iPhone app called "Find Friends."

Please consider volunteering. If you are interested, send me an email (reedkeel@hotmail.com) and I'll share our schedule of available volunteer slots that are still open. Each "shift" is between 2.5 and 4.5 hours in length (I know, long right?! It'll take us approximately 9 hours to complete our longest ride of 90 miles!  As you can imagine, having someone out there in a car supporting us will help make those long miles seem shorter). Each Saturday ride will start at 6:45am, and we'll always meet in either Nashville, Brentwood, or Franklin.

Thanks so much for all your support!
GO TEAM!

Team In Training is a branch of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, designed to raise money for blood cancer research, patient financial assistance, and family support services. Read about my experience coaching this season's amazing team of cyclist at http://Keeley.isinTraining.org.

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Honored Teammate
Feb 11, 2014 by Keeley Puncochar

Sometimes we get participants who sign up for Team In Training, but they have no personal connection to blood cancers (like I originally though I had no connection). To give these people the inspiration to train and fundraise, Team In Training designates an "Honored Teammate" for us. This year's Honored Teammate for the Tennessee Chapter just so happens to be a fellow cyclist! Here is his story, as shared by our Team In Training Campaign Coordinator, Anthony Palmer:

 

I want you all to meet Kevin Scoggins, your honored HERO this season. Kevin has been battling Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma since 2005 and has beaten it 4 times. I met Kevin back in August of last year when he called me to tell me he was doing a 40 mile mountain bike race in Cleveland, TN in September and wanted to know if he could wear a TNT cycle jersey at the event. After talking to him for a few minutes, I learned that he wasn’t only a survivor, but truly a cancer warrior like so many others that we know.

 

Fast-forward to September 8th (I believe). I worked my way down to Cleveland to cheer on our boy Kevin at his race. Not only did I get to cheer for and meet Kevin, but I got to meet his family and see the support network that was behind him in his cancer journey. Scott’s Bikes, who hosted the race, gave Kevin the #68 race number (how many IV chemo treatments he had received), and at the end of the race made a very special beer mug just for Kevin, that I unexpectedly got to present to Kevin. It was a great day!!

 

Later that fall, Kevin started to lose his energy and felt a little run down. He had been on a clinical trial for his Lymphoma and it was really helping him to kick the cancers ass!! Well long story short while Kevin was able to whoop up on the Lymphoma, he developed a treatment induced Leukemia (AML, not all AML’s are treatment induced, but that is the reason the doctors believe he developed it).

 

Like the CHAMPION he is, Kevin started back on chemo and was determined to kick this things ass yet again. And that is exactly what he is doing!! Kevin is now in a maintenance chemo phase awaiting the folks at the Sarah Cannon Center Institute in Nashville to find him  a bone marrow match, so he can undergo a bone marrow transplant. Kevin will remain in Chattanooga until he gets the call to head up to Nashville.

 

So that is where we are TEAM. I wanted to give you all a little background on this warrior, champion, hero, and person that I feel very blessed to call friend. Below are some pictures of my friend. Remember TEAM, this is just another example of why our mission is so important! So keep up the fundraising and training. We run, walk, ride, and tri for Kevin and everyone else affected by blood cancers.

Money raised by my TEAM, and by me, help to fund treatment research AND financial assistance programs for cancer warriors like Kevin. Let's give Kevin a "HIGH FIVE" ($5 or more) in support of his fight!

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Season Kick Off!
Jan 21, 2014 by Keeley Puncochar

The season has finally OFFICIALLY begun! On Saturday we had our first Group Training Session at an indoor cycling gym, Endeavor Performance, in downtown Nashville. We met at 6:30am, hooked up our bikes to stationary trainers, and completed the most difficult 45 minute workout of my life! The trainer is programed with your personal information, and sets the difficulty/resitance based on your weight and workout goals. There were 2 large screens in the from of the gym that showed a chart with a workout plan (similar to what you'd see on a treadmill). Below the chart showed the average speed, RPM, and other details for each individual rider. The goal of the indoor cycling program is to improve your cadence, and work up higher RPM (rotations per minute), rather than focusing on distance. You get rewarded when you reach your target RPM, because it because easier to pedal, but if you fall below your target RPM, the resitance increases and it's harder to keep going. I've never pedaled as hard, and as fast in my life! I had a really tough time during the first half of the workout, too, because my trainer was set up for me to handle higher resistance than I could actually handle. I was miserable. But, I learned a good leason: I need to hydrate better!

 

We'll have 3 more Indoor Cycling sessions before we start riding outdoors. I really hope that by mid February the morning temperatures are warmer than they have been so far this fall/winter. I'm so nervous about getting out on my bike in sub-freezing temps (even though, I think, I have all the gear I need).

 

On Sunday we had our first official Team Workshop. MariEtta Parrish, of Healthlete, did an hour and a half presentation on cycling nutrition. I took tons of notes, and need to type them up to send to our Teammates that were not able to attend. The number one bit of information that I got from the Nutrition Workshop: All performance foods are designed to compare to the banana. I, however, have a really hard time eating bananas. I enjoy the flavor, but I don't like the consistence (unless it's cut up with sugar on top). I have, however, gotten into the habit of making smoothies in the morning. MariEtta recommended that I try making a smoothy with half a banana, peanut butter, some almond milk, and maybe some oats for added carbs. I can't wait to give it a try!

 

After the workshop, three of us went on a quick 6.5 mile ride around Brentwood as a "recovery ride" from our indoor workshop the day prior. Since we were a small group, and the other two are already experience solo cyclists, I took the opportunity to teach them what a paceline is like. Basically, you ride in a single file line close together (no more than a wheel width apart). The front rider ("paceline leader") breaks the wind resistance for the rest of the group; in turn the group as a whole is able to ride faster with less effort. After a short "pull," the paceline leader flaps their elbow to signal that they plan to exit the front and move to the back, and the second rider in line becomes the paceline leader.

 

Pacelines remind me somewhat of "Indian Sprints" where everyone runs in a single file line, and the person in back has to sprint to the front of the line. Once they reach the front, the next person in the back sprints to the front. A paceline on the bike is opposite. I wonder what it would be like to try out "Indian Sprints" on a bike, as a form of "Interval" Training? I'll have to give that a try too...

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Starbucks Stocking Stuffer Challenge
Dec 12, 2013 by Keeley Puncochar

The holiday seasons are a crazy time of year, and especially demotivating to ride a bike! I last rode the Thursday before Thanksgiving. It feels like forever ago! Plus, the weather has been simply horrible! The cold doesn't bother me, and I'd even be OK with riding while it snows, but it has been raining and cold the last two weeks. I really wanted to ride from my house to my In-Law's house for Thanksgiving Day (exactly 26.2 miles) but these drastic weather changes have been making me feel sick. Suffice it to say, I wimped out on Thanksgiving morning when I saw that temperatures were at 25 degrees. Then, last Thursday it poured rain all week. This Thursday is supposed to be dry and sunny, so I plan on cleaning up my bike this evening and getting it ready for the road.

My last ride ended about a mile too soon, with my bike computer displaying a very annoying 799 miles! This week will help me tip that scale, but despite my 800 miles of experience, I'm still nervous about training season starting! It's going to be a huge weekend time commitment, and I'll need to keep a steady cross-training schedule. This will mean a few big changes for me:

  • Prepare more routine meals
  • Drink more water (and less coffee)
  • No more sleeping in on Saturday mornings

Over the 20 week training period, I'll tack on about 1,100 miles during the training season, with my longest training ride being 90 miles two weeks before America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride. I didn't plan it this way, but my 30th Birthday falls on a "REST" Day... which I'm sure I'll very much be looking forward to! If you add up the 100 miles from America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride, and the 800+ I will have already completed before training starts, that puts me at over 2000 MILES in 12 months! I can hardly wrap my braing around that number!

Anywho, I'm mainly writing to put out there a reminder that the holidays are coming up. As you consider which non-profit organizations you want to put your year-end charity dollars towards, a donation to my page will directly benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society while also helping me reach my 30th Birthday Goal: 100 Miles around Lake Tahoe.


I also have a little incentive for you! Santa ALWAYS gets me a Starbucks gift card for my stocking. For every $5 you donate to my page between now and Christmas Morning, I will add your name into a random drawing for that gift card! Yes, I will mail the card if you live outside of the Greater Nashville Area.

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Three Week Recap!
Nov 22, 2013 by Keeley Puncochar

What a beautiful morning for a ride! Yeah, the temperature was only 49 degrees, but there was no wind, traffic was relatively light, the sky was blue, and I (believe) I have finally acquired a majority of my winter cycling gear, so I stayed warm the entire ride.


It’s hard to believe I’ve gone over three weeks without making a blog entry. Suffice it to say, I’ve been a busy girl! I tried commuting on Friday, November 1st, since I had an all day conference on Thursday, but it didn’t work out for me too well. I definitely need to stick with my regular routine; I had no motivation to get to work in a timely manner, rode with unfamiliar traffic, and had a few unpleasant experiences (including road kill in the bike lane and a flat tire a mile before work).


My ride on November 7th started out beautiful! There was a light morning fog in my neighborhood, and the trees were vibrant oranges and yellows. However, within the first 4 miles everything changed for me. A driver started giving me a hard time, and I wasn’t able to shake of the negative from that experience. Sometimes, I wish the state of Tennessee would send out a “drivers’ manual” every other year with updated rules and regulations for the road. Some drivers just don’t know how to interpret cycling hand signals. It doesn’t matter how much we educate our cyclists, conflict will continue to ensue if drivers aren’t educated as well.


A Left Turn lane was coming up, and I needed to make sure drivers didn’t think I was trying to turn as well (otherwise I’d be hit for sure). I had plenty of room to merge, so I signaled with my hand that I would be moving into the lane and going straight. This driver started honking at me, and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Was I doing something wrong? Was I not aware of something/someone next to me? Was he honking at another driver? I slowed down my speed and glanced behind me to see what was going on. This only aggravated him further. He was throwing his hands up into the air and scowling. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. If he intended to continue driving straight, my merging would not have impacted him; if he needed to use the turn lane, I would have been out of his way in 2 seconds (except that his honking caused me to slow down out of confusion). As it turns out, he wanted to get into the turn lane. Had he been paying attention and realized that I was trying to make things easier for him, this whole situation could have been avoided. By the time he finally passed me on the Right, I was screaming at the top of my lungs “I USED MY HAND SIGNALS. WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM?” He had the most hateful expression on his face. I felt the same way I might feel during a near car accident. My legs were starting to tremble and tunnel vision was starting… but I had to stay focused in order to get through the intersection. Once I got through the intersection, I would have over 15 miles of bike lanes to keep me safe.


I was miserable. The air was so cold, the wind was blowing, the sky was overcast, and out of no where I started crying. I couldn’t control my frustration. What I really wanted to do was get off my bike, call my husband to pick me up, and quit riding. That wasn’t an option. I couldn’t let one angry driver change my passion for riding. The cold temperatures and numb legs had slowed my pace, and the clock on my bike computer had not yet been changed for Day Light Savings time. I kept nagging at myself for running so late, for being so slow; but really my clock was just wrong. Everything about the morning seemed like a struggle, until I got to Belmont Boulevard. By then, the sky had cleared up, the sunrays warmed my face, and I was reset. I noticed the beautiful fall colors the way I had noticed them in my own neighborhood, an hour earlier. I took a moment to capture this photo, and I’m so glad I did!


(Belmont Boulevard. November 7th, 2013)


By the time I got to work, I had done all the complaining in my head I needed to do; I had no desire to talk about it any further. So, I loaded up my bike on my car (which I had left there the night before), changed into my work clothes, drank my protein drink, sat through my meeting, and mentally prepared for a long Anniversary Weekend… 4 days in Florida!


Jon and I packed up my car that night, loaded the bikes on the back, and left home the next morning by 4:30am... Our 2nd Anniversary was accompanied by nightly water front sunsets, seafood, coastal bike rides, and playing on the beach with the dogs. It was exactly the trip we needed. By Tuesday, I was fully refreshed, and I decided to take a week off from commuting to work.


(Mexico Beach-ish. November 8-11th, 2013)


On Saturday, our TNT Cycling Team rode “lead” and “sweeper” cyclists for the Viva La Diva 5k and 10 Mile race. Our job was to stay with the lead runners, or follow the last walkers, to mark the beginning and end of the races. It was a neat experience. On Sunday the Team met up at REI for a Winter Cycling Gear workshop.


That brings us to today. Phew!


For this season of Team In Training, I am a "Fundraising Coach" for the Century (100 Mile) Ride Team. I need to reach my minimum fundraising goal by next Summer in order to participate in America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride (AMBBR)... one week after my 30th Birthday!


There are two ways you can support me this season:


  • Join the TNT Century Ride Team (as long as you have a bike and a helmet, you've got what it takes to complete this challenge with me!). You can train for either AMBBR or the Harpeth River Ride in Franklin. Jon and I are donating our "coaching income" to my fundraising efforts, so by being on the Team, you can feel good knowing that the portion of your fundraising minimum set aside for your training costs... is staying with LLS.
  • Make a Monetary Donation to my page (on the RIGHT------->). Any size donation helps! This year 80% of all donations go to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the focus of the Tennessee Chapter is to build up their funds available for patient services (financial support for blood cancer patients who can't pay their medical bills).

I'll use this page as a platform to share tips and hints about cycling throughout the season, so you can train vicariously through me. In exchange, I encourage you to make a donation (any amount!) to my page as a way of letting me know you support what I'm doing, you support the work of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, or that you really enjoyed reading my blog!


Thank you so much for all the encouragement you've given me in the past (if you're a return reader), and for joining me these next 6 months on my newest life challenge!

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Supporter Comments

  •  
    "For Grandma Corlin"
     

    Mary Ann Bruce

    Sun Apr 06 09:12:37 EDT 2014

  •  
    "You and Jon are awesome! Thank you for supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! "
     

    Larry Marchese

    Sun Nov 03 09:52:58 EST 2013

  •  
    "Go! Go! Go! You've worked hard for this. Enjoy the ride."
     

    Dan Borsos

    Sat May 31 05:05:34 EDT 2014

  •  
    "it really looks exciting--- once in a life time experience"
     

    Norv Smith

    Sun Jun 08 12:33:58 EDT 2014

  •  
    "Thanks Keeley for remembering my wonderful Daddy. Sara Reed Stinchcomb"
     

    Sara Stinchcomb

    Sat Apr 12 09:07:31 EDT 2014

  •  
    "Go Girl!"
     

    Christine Puncochar

    Fri Oct 04 04:37:10 EDT 2013

  •  
    "Thank you for raising $ for lymphoma! My dad wouldn't still be with us if it weren't for scienfic research."
     

    Paul and Sheryl Handley

    Wed Jun 04 03:22:33 EDT 2014

  •  
    "Silent Auction Item"
     

    Anonymous

    Sat Apr 12 06:01:31 EDT 2014

  •  
    "Sorry so late :)"
     

    Julie McMillan

    Sat May 31 08:42:16 EDT 2014

  •  
    "Bike like the wind!"
     

    Brad Perry

    Fri Apr 11 12:13:22 EDT 2014

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $2,842.06 | Goal: $3,400.00
 
84 %

My Team

 
Team Total: $26,414.86 | Goal: $25,800.00

Make a Donation


We are sorry donations are no longer being accepted for this participant for this event.

In Memory of

Granddaddy Reed

My Thanks To

HCA $500.00
Sara Stinchcomb $500.00
Rick and Chrissie Puncoch... $365.00
Jon Puncochar $200.00
Ruby Tuesday Fundraiser $111.96
Running Away Enterprises ... $100.00
Laurel Mitchell $95.00
G Whit James $80.00
Kayleigh Ryder $70.00
Anonymous $60.00
Anonymous $50.00
Paul and Sheryl Handley $50.00
Charlene Damron $50.00
On The Spot Massage $50.00
Loraine O'Hare $50.00
Judy Cothran $40.00
Micah Puncochar $30.00
DAVE PUNCOCHAR $30.00
Norv Smith $25.00
Larry Marchese $25.00
Mary Ann Bruce $20.00
ANNA KIM $15.00
Elizabeth Scutchfield $10.00
John Sherrer $10.00
Julie McMillan  
Dan Borsos  
Brad Perry  
Christine Puncochar