I just signed up for the 2018 America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, a 100 mile bike ride around Lake Tahoe in Nevada/California. It will be my 10th Century Ride donning a Team in Training jersey. My comments below are geared towards the Team in Training cycling program, but I’m sure most of it applies to the marathon, hiking, triathlon, etc. teams as well. To find out more and how to register, visit Team in Training!
- Fundraising – The fundraising aspect of Team in Training is critical to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s mission. It is so gratifying knowing that our efforts are translated into real results and saving lives. The LLS has been responsible for a lot of research and new advances in the treatment of blood cancers. And you may not know it, but a lot of the research in blood cancer can help with other types of cancer research as well.
Of course, the fundraising goals can be a bit intimidating. I know I have been quite anxious to meet my fundraising goals over the years. But let me tell you, the staff and your teammates will help you fundraise more than you thought possible. They will have tips, examples and team fundraising events to get you over the hump.
- Team Hero – Every Team in Training Team has what is called a Team Hero. They are someone that is fighting cancer or beat cancer. Sometimes they may even be participating on the team along with you. These Hero’s are truly an inspiration. They help you connect what you are doing to a real life person. They can help you understand what it is like to undergo treatment and how important it is to have the support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
- Training Program – The coaches and captains of Team in Training will make sure you are prepared for your event by providing a clear training program. This isn’t just some basically outline with little guidance. The program will make sure you are physically capable of completing the ride and learn techniques to make the ride easier. The program will build up your strength and endurance and help you learn how to be more efficient on the bike. It will also include info on stuff like what equipment to buy and how to eat right to properly fuel yourself.
- Coaching – The coaches on your team will be invaluable in your preparation. They are there to guide you through the training program and to make sure you are getting the most out of it. They will help accelerate you through the training program and make sure you are on track to crush the event ride.
- Staff – The staff at LLS will help you focus on riding and fundraising. They are there to make sure your race details are taken care of and to make sure you have an easy path to meeting your fundraising goals. They handle the logistics that make your job easier!
- Team – Your fellow teammates will be the ones pedaling and fundraising along side of you. You will share with them the tough climbs on the bike and fundraising challenges. But you will also share the celebrations, post ride lunches (which may include a beer), and satisfaction of doing something important.
- Mission Moment – TNT usually starts of each ride with a Mission Moment. This is an opportunity for someone to share why they are riding. It may be in memory of a loved one that lost the fight with cancer or in celebration of someone that got good news from their oncologist. The moments are truly inspiring and tend to help me focus on the big picture.
- Pushing your limits – When I started riding with TNT, I needed some extra breaks to finish our first 12 mile team bike ride. I didn’t think I could ever do a full 100 miles. After doing just the first part of Lookout Mountain, I never thought I would be able to make it to the top. TNT pushed my limits and each time I got better and better. I got stronger and stronger on each ride — and in the best shape of my life in large part due to TNT.
- Eating – I’m not going to lie. When you burn a couple thousand calories on a bike ride, there is nothing better that a big lunch afterwards. It feels well earned and well worth it. And it will help fuel your recovery and next ride!
- The Event – I love event day. There is so much anticipation leading up to it. But the fun starts even before that. You travel to the event and meet up with your teammates and other TNT teams and cyclist from across the country. You have a celebration dinner to commemorate your success on the bike and with fundraising. You bond together with your team one final time before embarking on the big ride. And the rides themselves are spectacular. There are thousands of riders and great support from TNT and the event organizers. One of my fondest memories was cycling down the Las Vegas Strip with a police escort. Along the course of a hundred miles, you’ll meet many others from all over the US, see great scenery, and get support from many spectators. At the end of the ride is the finish line and more celebrating for a successful season as part of TNT