Tour de Cure

It was such an honor and truly an awesome time to ride in this year's Tour de Cure in Brigham City, Utah.  The American Diabetes Association puts this ride on in cities across America each summer.  This is my first time participating in the ride and it was really, really great!  I am SO GLAD that I decided, even though last minute, to participate.  I signed up for the ride less than a month before it was held and was able to raise $210 for diabetes research.  Many of you know that I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent) in my early twenties.  And guess what?  I didn't get this disease by eating too much sugar!  Nope, my pancreas just pooped out on me as the result of a virus from a simple sore throat.  Researchers are working VERY HARD on finding ways to improve the lives of those who suffer with diabetes and I believe that there will be a cure some day.  So, that's why I rode.  Because I hate having diabetes, and what better cause to ride for than the very condition which I struggle with 24 hours a day 365 days a year.  

My little brother, Justin returned home from his mission in November and since he's been home he's really been trying to be healthy and do things to improve his own health.  Part of that includes finding more ways to be active.  I did the Women of Steel triathlon last month and he would have done that with me except that it was an all women's race.  At the beginning of May I called him up and asked him what event he'd like to do with me.  There were two to chose from that both fell on June 8.  He said, "Jen, you've got diabetes, we should do the Tour de Cure".  I knew he was right so we both signed up.  

We've really enjoyed training and riding together this last month and when the big day came, we were so ready!  

I woke up at about 6:00 and my blood sugar was 170.  I had my regular breakfast and took a full bolus because our race time wasn't until 10:30am.  Justin and I loaded up our bikes and left his house at 7:30 am.  We had to drive from Bluffdale to Brigham City so we wanted to have enough time to get there in time for registration.  It only took us an hour to arrive so we were there an hour before registration, two before our race.  Oops.  Lots of time!  So we got registered, grabbed our t-shirts, I got my red rider jersey and then we had lots of time to take pictures, stretch, and get a little snack before our race started.  
At the start, my sugar was 116!!!! Wahoo.  Finally, a race day with a normal blood sugar.  I decreased my basal to about 25% and ate three gatorade chews and we were off just a little after 10:30am.    

The course was awesome.  It was really nice and flat.  The tradition of Tour de Cure is that every time you see a person in a red jersey, a "Red Rider" or someone who is diabetic- rides with diabetes, you shout to them, "Go Red Rider".  It is a shout that means you support them, you realize it is difficult to ride a bike (or participate in any physical activity) with diabetes, and that you love them.  Everyone on the course was AWESOME about yelling that phrase to each other.  I saw LOTS AND LOTS of Red Riders out there.  I was sure to give them the shout as I rode past and they did the same for me.  It was such a sense of camaraderie and I really loved that.  

We were keeping a really good pace and I felt AMAZING out there, I'm sure the good blood sugars had a lot to do with that.  We finally reached the turn around point and they had a full-service rest stop but I wasn't really interested in hanging around for too long.  Justin grabbed a snack, I loosened my shoes, tested my sugar (130!), ate three more chews, and we were off.  

On the way back I did "feel" it a little more.  I was starting to slow up a little bit I think.  This one guy we passed started drifting on us and then he just hung around us until the end of the ride.  He was really nice and chit chatted with us as we rode.  

When we crossed the finish line, our sister, mom, grandparents, and Justin's girlfriend were all there waiting and cheering us on.  It was so cool!  They also saw us on the start so that was cool too.  We got some really great pictures I thought and this event was so fun that I think I definitely want to do it again.  

Ready to go in the morning.  

Before the race

I found a clever way to store my meter on my bike.
I strap it to the side of my saddle bag.
So far, it has worked out pretty well!  

Together at the starting line. 

grabbing a quick snack at the pit-stop

Half way done! 

crossing the finish line together! 
All done with our 24 mile bike ride for Diabetes! 

whew!  all done

We are still a little bit short on funds.  Justin has 4 more weeks to earn $87.  If you've been wanting to donate but haven't done so yet, please follow this link.  
Thank you SO MUCH to those who have donated already!  We thank you and love you so much for your support of such a great cause.  


Jessica said…
I am so proud of you sis! You constantly amaze me with what you accomplish and then to add the element of your diabetes on top of that is truly inspiring. I was happy to be there to support the cause and the two best siblings a girl could ask for. You go red rider!
So awesome! Thank you for riding, and for all of the great pictures!

joyous said…
So amazing!!! I love that you were able to do this and even better to do it with your brother. :)

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