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?