Happy Birthday to me ... Thank you Leo ... I know you would be proud of me. Thank you Dad ... feel better ... I will see you at the finish line. Any lastly ... thank you to all the inspirational people I have met who have asthma, COPD, or Alpha-1. Thanks to the families who have lost loved ones to lung disease and cancer. And thanks to those like Kathy Hogan who are waiting for a lung transplant to survive ... I ride for all of you.
13 more donations helped push me beyond my goal. Thank you to the following bronze level donors:
- Carol Fishman - Carol decided an extra donation was needed even though she gave earlier this year. She is the best dance partner than a 17 year old afro wearing disco boy could have. We have been friends since high school. Thanks for your friendship and support (a 4 year donor).
- Kenneth Wrisley - RPI almum who reached out after reading the alumni spotlight that RPI ran on me earlier this spring.
- Alison Sokol - long-time friend and neighbor. I love to crash her house for the high holidays in the Fall. Great jewish cooking like my Nana used to make.
- Marie Margiottiello - ex co-worker as Northrop. Need to see more of her after my ride.
- Steve Eisenstadt - perhaps the best balding, almost 50, jewish bass player this side of Raleigh, NC! Another of my close high school/USY friends. We can talk for hours ... miss seeing him. Thanks Steve.
- Jim Dickey & Cherie McNett - Jim & Cherie have one great daughter, Erin. I have one great son, Michael. They have made one great couple for the last three years.
- Heidi Barendse - Heidi is a great example of the role that social networking has played in my efforts. She is a Facebook friend who lives in my starting town of Astoria, OR. Heidi also has Alpha-1. Thanks for reaching out Heidi.
- Wendell Uddyback - Wendell was donor to my ride back in 2005 too. Thanks for making a differene this year too. He recently started working with Syncsort ... a strong player in the data integration and data protection software business
- GU Energy Labs - GU is one of my favorite nutritional product companies and makes GU Energy Gel, Roctane Ultra Endurance Gel, Chomps, and GU Brew Sports Drinks. I am proud to be part of their Pro Sales Program!
- Michael Branford - Mike is the president of the local Baltimore/DC RPI alumni chapter. He was instrumental in setting up the sned off happy hour for me last month. Pretty impressive guy for just four years outof college.
- Robert Shaw - Robert is joining my ride for the first 20 days. He rode the ending 30 back in 2006 and wants to have a combined coast-to-coast experience. He gave me a few tips for the ride ... like the clothes line to help dry those bike jersies and bibs.
- Lisa Pinegar - previous co-worker and two time donor. Lisa and I made a pretty powerful proposal management and development team. Her son is at the University of Maryland with my son, Michael.
I tapered my training this week and cut back to a little less than 110 miles. That included a couple fast two hour sessions to Elridge Furnance Inn and Ellicott City. My rash improved after some meds. I ended the week with two sets of major hill repeats, On Thursday I climbed Harriet Tubman Road (150 feet climb, 10% grade) ten times. Followed that up on Saturday with ten repeats of Old Columbia Road (simialr climb, but longer with slightly less grade). I felt great both days ... bring on the Cascades ... bring on the Rockies ... Gulp!
Well ... I am finally caught uo on my blog. My packing is done. Heading off to stow the last few items. I am right at the weight limits on my bags ... too many must have drug store items. I will recap the final week of preparation once I get to Astoria. That happens tomorrow!
Look for daily blogs starting this weekend and a new and simple way to read my blog from my web site - http://www.markstrek.com/. Thanks again everyone ... Talk to you from Astoria.