MS150 & The Power of Pickles

MS pre race cassie

I completed my first 150 mile, 2 day Bike Ride!!!  September 28-29 marked the 2013 ms150: Cycle to the Shore Ride!  I hopped on my bike at 7:15am from St. Augustine and started the trek to Daytona! Almost 5 hours of bike time later…. hello DAYTONA!  Yes, FIVE HOURS ON A BIKE! But wait, that was just day 1…

Let’s recap my awesome ride/weekend with a few highlights and pictures I took along the way….

  • WHO:  Me, 2 friends, 3 bikes and a lot of pickles
  • WHAT: 150 Miles – 2 Day Route – Start / Finish at the St. Johns County Airport in St. Augustine
  • WHEN:  September 28-29. 2013
  • WHERE: The Sunshine State
  • WHY:  To raise awareness and funds to help create a world free of MS. Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic, often disabling disease that affects the central nervous system. Donations raised through this event benefits the North Florida Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and its mission to mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenge of everyone affected by MS.

The ride started out damp.  It had rained earlier in the morning so the roads were wet.  When you’re on a bike, this means you get wet.  It’s inevitable.  We started out the ride with the sun rising and it was absolutely beautiful.  Every 12-18 miles or so there is a rest stop.  This is where you can get off the bike, go to the bathroom and the most important – eat snacks!  All sorts of snacks – peanut butter, cookies, bananas, oranges and PICKLES.

MS scene

When we stopped for lunch, we had fresh PB and banana sandwiches.  Can I just tell you how amazing PB&B is?  Especially freshly made!  YUM!  I also learned a new way to prepare PB&B…slice the bananas lengthwise.  The slices don’t fall out… GENIUS!  And of course, more pickles!

The last stop of the ride on day 1 could possibly be my favorite stop of the day… snow cones!  I can’t tell you the last time I had a snow cone.  After biking 60+ miles, this take-me-back-to-kid-days treat was absolutely perfect.  Coupled with pickles, I was one happy girl. 🙂

MS team picHere’s a picture of the fearless-and-slightly-crazy trio!  Daytona Beach was beautiful but I think I was in a daze to much to take it all in.  Partly from knowing the fact I rode a bike 85 miles.  Partly from my aching butt.  OH MY ACHING BUTT!  Partly from my burning (yes, burning!) and bloodshot eyes.  Lastly from my pickled out self.  I must have had at least 5 pickles…..

MS day 1 time

Day 1 was such a success!  We took a quick dip in the pool to cool/rinse off then ate a delicious spaghetti and meatball dinner.  I think I went to bed around 8pm but it felt like it was 11.  Great Day.  Repeat tomorrow.

MS sunriseDay 2.  When I woke up, I initially thought, “oh crap, I have to do THAT again?!?”  But when we got to the beach, it was all worth it.  The sunrise was absolutely amazing.  Breathtaking.

Then I sat on my bike.  Breathtaking.  Literally.  And not in a good way.

Day 2 was only around 60 miles so I thought, easy peasy.  I can do it!  As long as the rest stops have pickles I’m in good shape!

And so the ride began!  Starting in Daytona and backtracking our way to St. Augustine with a few route changes and we were off!

MS cassie seth

The ride was tough.  I felt like the wind completely cancelled out any drafting that a cyclist should take advantage of.  At about 20 miles to the finish, I lost my balance when my bike wasn’t moving and did a little fall.  (Note: Yes, I am admitting that my bike wasn’t moving when I fell – amateur move) It was on dirt and you know the saying, God made dirt so dirt don’t hurt…. well so not true!  I was still clipped in and my knee twisted a little or something.  The next 20 miles were even tougher, but I pedaled through with the help of my teammates.  Oh, and the pickles!  They were at every stop!

MS finish cover

Finally, after another 4 hours on the bike and 66 miles later, the ride was done.  DONE!  This was awesome!  Even though I felt like I just road 150 miles, my butt felt like I just rode 150 miles and my sweaty jersey smelled like I just rode 150 miles, it was so worth it!  This is was farthest I’ve ever rode, for the longest and I felt the best I’ve ever felt.  What’s the secret?  Let me introduce you to, the power of the pickles….

The Power of Pickles:  So I have had (now that it’s proven) a theory.  In the past, whenever I would run over 9 miles or cycle over 3 hours (ok, honestly I’ve only done this a few times), I would feel horrible the rest of the day.  Horrible as in a migraine and exhausted.  I would eat gels and drink a ton of water during exercise but that still wouldn’t help.  After some research and consulting with a few trusty friends, I tested a salt theory during my ride.  So my theory is that pickles are the key to the sodium balance in my body.  At each rest stop, I had a few pickle slices, a few pickle pieces, a few pickle wholes… yummmm


PSA- next time you see me exercising for a long period, I will be carrying pickles! Call me weird, say I smell like pickle juice, but I’ll recover faster!

MS day 2 time

What’s your pickle story?  What do you train with that’s strange?

A mellow weekend of Florida sunsets

saturday sunset I am still amazed by how beautiful the weather has been lately (sorry, northern friends).  I am so incredibly blessed to live in Florida- to experience mild winters, beautiful springs and falls and down right hot summers.  I have posted sunsets and sunrises before because they are truly breathtakingSaturday night was no exception!  The sky just illuminated with oranges, yellows and reds as the sun set over Jacksonville. 

Back up a little and I had a dinner and a movie date night. 🙂  We ate at Barbara Jean’s restaurant.  It’s known for “easy southern dining.”  My favs are the crab cakes, brocoli and rice casserole and the pumpkin bread! The restaurant sits on the intercostal so you have to eat outside on the deck and enjoy the view.  We even saw DOLPHINS, no joke!

saturday sunset2

The movie of the night was The Call with Halle Berry. OMGoshhh.  For 1 hour and 35 minutes I was on the edge of my seat.  My heart racing to see what happened next.  The movie was great but I can sum it up saying that it was stressful!  I definitely need to follow that with a romantic comedy and thankful it wasn’t any longer!  It’s not for the lighthearted.  I’m a gush and I had teary moment at one part (I’ll leave it to you to guess which one).

saturday workout

Rewind to Saturday morning and I enjoyed getting on the cycle bike again!  I’m trying (emphasis on trying) to train for the Katie Ride which is on April 20th… will I do 36 or 62 miles?!?!  Training will only tell!

So I have this thing with headbands… I don’t know if it’s my head or I’m wearing them wrong, but headbands don’t work!  Even the sporty ones fall off!  I am testing out the Bandiez Couture headbands.  So far, so good!!  This dri fit headband stayed on throughout my entire cycle class!  It was VERY wet after, but stayed in place!  I still need to test the headband during a run and doing dynamic moves like deadlifts, mountain climbers, burpees or floor ab exercises, but  if it stays in place during all these, this will be a first and I will be sold!  Click here to check out their website.  

After a beautiful Saturday, today might have been was even better!  I spent an hour reading by the pool and heard an amazing message this morning from Pastor Stovall of Celebration Church.  Next weekend, Tim Tebow is preaching in the house and I can’t wait to see what God’s going to do to the city and how many people will come to hear Tim preach!

On a funny (in my opinion) sidenote: You know you always have traffic, when you get text warnings of GOOD traffic days.  Thanks for looking out, dad!


Goal for this week: get back to cycle class in the morning!!

 Enjoy every sunset, take a deep breath and cycle on!

Ran out of road before the playlist ended!

Gate CassieToday was the BIG day!!  The 2013 Gate River Run… 15 k of sidewalk, highway, cobblestones, grated bridges and cement.  I woke up at 5:15am to finish my laundry (I was down to 1 good sock.  It lost its brother at some point and all my other running socks were dirty.  Well, not real “running socks” but the ones I like to wear when I run) and get in the zone!  This was totally in my head, but I drank some emergen-c, took a halls defense, had a cutie and prepared for a sore body with some Advil!

I’ve never taken any goo, protein bars, etc but I wanted to try some this time to step up my run and finish without feeling sick or groggy the rest of the day.  I got PowerBar Energy Blasts in Strawberry Banana and Raspberry flavors.  I must say, these are very yummy.  Tastes like candy!  The instructions say to eat 1-3 gummies (size of a quarter) every 10 minutes if working out for more than an hour.  I put these in a font pocket of my running skirt and had these every few songs before water stops.  After talking to some runners, I think I also need some salt tablets too!  I sweat like crazy and have this nice little salt ring on my face… not very cute but it’s true…

Gate EnergyGate Cutie

Cuties might be for kids, but this one was delicious and perfect for me!  Extra vitamin C, please!

I have to side step here to talk about the weather…  Another reason why I love Florida – March 9, 2013 – mid-50s sun shining, not  a cloud in sight… perfect running anything weather! 

Gate Weather

I was seeded in the first wave (first 5,000) for the first year and I must say, being seeded makes a world of a difference!  I hit mile 1 around 8:30 and didn’t run into crowds (aka other sweaty people) at all.  The spectators were pumped, the water stops were spaced out perfectly and the random signs along the route were funny.  One that sticks said “6 miles to go!”This was at mile 6… I actually laughed out loud thinking yeah right, there’s only 3 miles left, I so got this!  Thank you random stranger for the sign!!

The best part of my race was definitely my playlist… All these songs pumped me up EVERY step of the way!  PS- don’t judge me… I have a very strange mixture of girly girl, rock, old stuff, new stuff and everything that’s loud.

  1. Gonna Make You Sweat
  2. The Distance – Cake (how appropriate, right!?!)
  3. Party Rock Anthem
  4. Here I Come
  5. I Love It
  6. Stronger
  7. Firework
  8. Turn Me On
  9. Call Me Maybe
  10. Run Like Hell
  11. Just the Way You Are
  12. T.H.E.
  13. Teenage Dream
  14. Give Me Everything
  15. Tonight
  16. Domino
  17. What Makes You Beautiful
  18. Scream & Shout
  19. Raise Your Glass
  20. We Are Never Getting Back Together
  21. Clumsy
  22. Immigrant Song
  23. One Way or Another

Best part about this playlist is that I DIDN”T GET TO FINISH IT… Why you wonder?  Because I ran out of road before the playlist ended!!  And I set a PR for the Gate!  1:14:30, 8 minute pace!  This was my stretch goal and I did it!!  I finished 34 in my age group and 1543 overall.  This put me in the top 10% of women finishers and I got a cool hat! 🙂

Gate Finish

Definitely successful race!  Do I see a half in my near future???  Before I get to ambitious, I need to start training for the Katie Ride!