Although, I didn't do the original 60 miles I signed up for I did complete the 38 miler in 5.5hrs. I remember Noreen James telling me she didn't expect me to finish and I told her " I might not finish first but, I WILL FINISH!!". I decided to change to the shorter course because I wasn't able to train consistently.
I would have gladly traded the smell of fresh cut grass, flowers and suntan lotion for more wind at the beginning of the trek. It was kinda tough on my lungs. We had plenty of wind throughout the trek! It was interesting....sometimes the head wind on hills benefited me and other times it hindered me. I tried to keep myself hydrated which I suck at under any circumstances! I also tried a Mango flavored gel. They have 100 calories. I tried to avoid the fresh baked goods at the rest stops because I figured they were largely made up of processed ingredients and would be harder for my body to utilize. It wasn't great but, it wasn't horrible either.
I did pretty well until after the last rest stop. I got about a mile into the last leg and the roads were such that they were energy stealer's(if you do any amount of bicycling you'll understand this). I pretty much"hit the wall" and kept pedalling. I just knew if I stopped pedalling I would never start back up to get back to Palmer Park. The last leg(10 miles) took 1.5 hours to finish. Once I got back to the bike trail every time I came to a crack or a bump I would "post"(it's something you do when you ride a horse English...basically lift your butt up) because my butt was sooo sore! I'm sure my Terry Damselfly bike seat was better than the Bontranger seat my bike came with. I had adjusted it three times since I first time I put it on. I was told not to do drastic adjustments or it could hurt my biking quite adversely. I'm hoping I only have to adjust it one or two more times. I also decided I am going to get a side view mirror for my helmet after all!
My sister Johanna came down to support me and try to spread the word about alpha1. Somebody asked me about whether I needed my inhaler like I did at the third rest stop and it opened the door for me to explain a little bit about alpha1 as well as the benefits of biking for my lungs. I also want to say that the smell in bathrooms at Big Hill park are worse than that of our two holer at the family cabin. OMG!! I don't ever want to use that bathroom again as long as I live!!!!
This was my first trek ever and I gotta tell ya....bicyclist ROCK!!! A couple of times when I wasn't in respiratory distress a bicyclist asked if I was ok. I got a lot of compliments on my Curious George bike jersey as they passed me. I do envy them for being able to bike and talk at the same time. I heard a lot of good mornings, hi, how ya doin',passing on the left and encouraging comments about the hills(either it's almost over or were on the downhill end).I also got an email from Ed Brailey(board member of the alpha1 association) saying he was tryng to get the Leader-Telegram to do a story on me in conjunction with my RCU charity walk.
The Top10 Things You Should Do If You Test Positive For Alpha1
- Have A List Of Questions When You See a Doctor About Your Alpha1(If you try to remember the questions you want to ask you may forget half of them)
- Learn To Breathe Effectively
- Limit Or Eliminate Your Alcohol Consumption
- Don't Be Afraid To Be Proactive About Your Alpha1
- Get Plenty Of Rest(You will likely have a higher oxygenation level)
- Avoid Sick People(You have a lower immune system than most people)
- Drink Plenty Of Water
- Eat Healthy/Avoid Processed Food(Carbonated beverages)
- Start A Careful Exercise Program/Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program(Your muscles will become more efficient so they won't use as much oxygen and if you have surgery you will likely recover quicker as well)
- Stop Smoking