#ChicagoIsCancelled

This isn’t the post we were hoping to post, but here it is.

The Asic Gel-Kayano is our weapon of choice for long runs.

Two years ago, Vee and I decided we wanted to run the Chicago Marathon. It’s on Vee’s marathon bucket list, and I’m a fan of the city, so it would make a great first marathon for me. We entered the lottery last October and both got emails in March saying we were in.  We knew we had a lot of work ahead of us to prepare.

Then Life Happened

Vee’s path in yoga took flight through Create Karma

Between October and March, Vee was accepted into the 200 hour yoga teacher program with Create Karma and three other fitness certifications. I changed jobs in December, knowing I would be moving into a management position in 6 months that was going to be challenging. I also started making and selling my organic beard balms.

So needless to say, there was a lot going on, and we should have known that this wasn’t the year to run. We still tried to make it work, but honestly, it just added more stress to everything. The final straw though, was when I hurt my back in early September and couldn’t run. At that point, we pulled the plug, and Chicago was done.

Back pain is no joke in running.

It’s a big disappointment for us. We were looking forward to the trip, the time off, and the experience. I had already planned out our trip, and some places I wanted to take Vee while we were there, but that will have to wait until next year.

Finding the Positives

There is an upside to all of this though. Because we were able to defer to next year, we really can focus on the 2019 race. This means getting our training right, saving additional money to stay at a close hotel, and doing everything we can to make it the perfect trip.

I think I might need a larger size.

Shortterm, we both need to work through some things with work, but it’s been a month, and my back is getting better, but it’s still not right. Later this month, I’ll be seeing Deb at Ananda Integration for a structural integration evaluation. The goal is to see what imbalances I have in my body, and work on addressing them. I’m hoping to look at it from not just a running point of view, but also cycling and even a day-to-day perspective. With Deb’s assistance, we can get my body into an optimal alignment and balance, and get me back into training.

Take care of your beard.

Longterm, the reset also gives us a chance to reboot #TeamKICKASS and set our goals for 2019. All of this started back in 2016 with our goal of raising money and riding the American Cancer Society Bridge to Beach in honor of Vee’s father/my father-in-law, Tom. For 2019 and beyond, we wanted to share our story and what inspires us to do everything that we do, along with some tips and advice along the way. Stay tuned for all of that coming soon.

Visiting Vee during one of her Create Karma weekends at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Center.

So for now, instead of saying our Chicago Marathon story is over, we are choosing to say that it is just beginning. We’ll keep you updated on our plans and share some inspiration on a regular basis going forward.

Get Fit, Have fun, Do good, #TeamKICKASS

Find your center in 2019.

#TeamKICKASS and the American Cancer Society Bridge to Beach

I’ve started to write this post a few times since we rode the American Cancer Society Bridge to Beach charity event last Sunday. One attempt was more of a recap of the event. Another I was getting more into the products that we used.  The event was more than that though. It was an event to fight cancer.

ACS #TeamKICKASSOver 81 solo miles of the century for myself, 47 of 67 solo for Vee, we had a lot of time on our own to think about our family and friends who have fought and are fighting cancer. Some are just starting their first battle, others fighting their second or even third battles. Some won their battles, some lost.

It was a tough ride, more so mentally than physically. I mean, yeah, it was 100 miles in 90+ degree heat. That part was a challenge, but we had the right equipment, we ate and drank right, and all of the training we have done got us to the end. I’ll touch on more of that in another post soon.

The mental challenge wasn’t even the mileage or the times when I was on the route and couldn’t see anyone ahead or behind me. It was seeing all the blue and yellow rider numbers while thinking about our friends and family. These rider numbers signified that the cyclist was a survivor or is fighting cancer now. It was even more heartbreaking to see the half blue/half yellow numbers.

These riders provided hope, though. The fact that they are fighting or have won their battle with cancer, and are out challenging themselves on the road shows us that cancer is something we can overcome. It is something that can be beaten. It is something that we are fighting together.

I left Vee at the first aid station at mile 12. I was concerned about making the cutoff to be on the century course and didn’t want to chance it. We texted each other when we stopped, but after a while, the NJ cell coverage meant we hadn’t heard from each other in a few hours.

I’ll admit that I was worried about Vee. She’s not the most comfortable riding with traffic, but once she has been riding for a little, it comes back. I was more worried that she was going to have a flat tire than anything, but not hearing from her led my mind in all kinds of directions. We both had our ICEdots on though, so I had to trust in the technology.

Along the way, we both had a chance to meet and chat with people participating at the event. I kept conversations on the lighter side, talking about the ride or complementing equipment choices (especially the other Bianchi riders), but you knew everyone there had a special connection to cancer. Be it, family or friends, we were all doing our part to help fight the disease.I jumped in with a few riders and we pace lined our way to the third to last stop. They happened to find me at just the right time, which helped me recover from the efforts I was putting in to try and get through the century loop as fast as I could to catch back up to Vee. It was an older lady, and

ACS ScottI jumped in with a few riders and we pace lined our way to the third to last stop. They happened to find me at just the right time, which helped me recover from the efforts I was putting in to try and get through the century loop as fast as I could to catch back up to Vee. It was an older lady and older gentleman, and a younger guy who eventually fell off the back and caught us at the stop. The four, then three of us worked well together, and had a little chat along with way. I think they thought I was much younger than I am, but they really dug the Handlebar Mustache Apparel FUCancer socks I had on.

It was between the third and second to last stops that my phone started receiving text messages again. I couldn’t read them until I got to the next stop. but I knew that I had received a few from Vee. With one stop remaining, that’s when I saw the message…Vee crashed. I continued to read through. At first, she said something was bent on her bike, and she was not sure if she could continue. The next text said she was at the last aid station, but that her phone battery was really low and she would wait for me there. Picturing her scraped up, bleeding, and with a broken bike, I skipped my planned recovery and pushed on.

I didn’t know if she was okay. I figured she was, but I wanted to be there. I hated the feeling of not knowing and not being able to help. I buried myself over those 12 miles, only slowing for traffic lights/signs or to get around packs of slower riders.

When I arrived at the last stop, Vee found me while I was fumbling for my phone. She looked okay and seemed to be walking around find. I was relieved. The story goes that she was going through an underpass that was under construction with narrow lanes and a very surface. Many other riders ahead of her had gone through and flatted from the pot holes. As Vee went through, a car in the other lane swerved into her’s to avoid a pothole. It was either get hit by the car or go into a cement barrier, so she veered right. The car kept on going.

ACS VeeAfter collecting herself from the impact, she was a little scraped and bruised, but fine. Her Warrny suit had a small tear in the shoulder and her handlebars and shifters were a little out of sorts. Another rider who was already there helping a teammate with a flat got Vee’s bars and shifters straightened out. She was a little shaken, but she was good to continue riding. By the time she was at the aid station though, the palm of her hand was beginning to swell a little, and the bruises were starting to show.

We didn’t waste much time at the stop and left to finish the final 7 miles on the Atlantic City Expressway. I wanted to get her back to the car as fast as I could so we could make sure she was okay and get home to rest.  We spun along the shoulder of the highway, another road we normally cannot ride on, as motorists stuck in traffic watched us go by. NJDOT workers cheered us along, and we passed the final police helping out in Atlantic City. We had a right turn left and rode through the ACS arch to finish.

ACS KissWe were happy. We overcame the heat and humidity, the long stretches of road. We took our pictures and walked back to the car and packed up to head home. We completed our challenge for the day, but it reminded me how those fighting cancer cannot complete their battles by riding a bike and crossing a finish line. Their battle continues on.

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Please consider donating to the American Cancer Society through our donation pages. You can find them here on the Donate section of our site. Once donations are closed for this year’s event, we will make sure there is another link to donate through #TeamKICKASS.

#TeamKICKASS Is Live!

Welcome to #TeamKICKASS. Get fit, have fun, do good.

#TeamKICKASS, Vee and Scott

#TeamKICKASS started as a laugh between a husband and wife and has turned into a bit of our identity. We joked around about it because our lives are so busy between our day jobs, our passions, and our fitness endeavors. Some professional cyclocross friends took the nickname Team Awesome, so we decided to go with #TeamKICKASS. We started using it as a hashtag, and next thing you know, people started referring to us that way.

Our motto is “Get Fit, Have Fun, Do Good.” It’s something that we live by, and we want to share the message with the world.

Get Fit – There are a lot of reasons to get in shape. Live longer, the ability to do more, lower the risk of health issues, the list goes on. For us, being fit helps us do everything we do, and we have fun with it. It is our way to spend time together and support each other in our goals.

Have Fun – Something that has always been important to Vee is having fun with her fitness goals and it’s something she brings to her group exercise classes. If you aren’t to having fun, you probably aren’t going to keep at it. She jokes around and acts goofy at times, but what you don’t realize is you are actually working out.

Do Good – As part of our mission, we want to empower people to help others. It can be something small like saying good morning to a stranger, or as big as organizing a charity event. Last June, we lost Vee’s dad to pancreatic cancer. It was a few days before the American Cancer Society’s Philly Bike-A-Thon, but it just wasn’t possible for us to do the ride. This Sunday, we will be riding the Bike-A-Thon as our first official event for #TeamKICKASS. We are looking forward to more events in the future, and getting you involved with us.

Yup, you are going to see a lot of these pics.

So that’s it in a nutshell. We’ll be adding sections to the site about our partners along with other fun content about our adventures. We’ll have a recap of the ACS Bike-A-Thon next week, so check back to see how it went.

To donate to our Bike-A-Thon pages, click here to go to our Donation page, where you can find links to both of our pages.