My ride is over, but the memories will last forever.

A life long dream fulfilled ... a great cause ... new friends ... amazing support

Thanks to everyone who helped make a difference!

I have maxed out the picture space on this blog. To see my postings for Day 42 (August 1st) onward click the link below:

GOTO Mark's Trek - NEW Daily BLOG (August 1st Onward)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Week of 06/13/10 - We Did It ... Broke Through $15,000 ... Some Training Too

We Did It! Thank you to all my friends and loyal supporters. If you have not donatated yet, please help make a difference in the lives of families impacted by lung disease. The quick link for donations is I am in awe of my friends and supporters.  Thank you so much.  We can and have made a difference in the fight against lung disease and for healthy air.  I am so excited for the trip.  I won't lie, I am anxious and a little nervous too,  That said, I am confident it will be the experienece of a lifetime. 

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.
Next up are the Silver Donors for the week:
  • 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.
So ... who put me over the magic $15,000 level?  I could not think of a more perfect person and important part of my life.  Amy King made a fantastic Silver level donation to enbale me to achieve this imporatnt goal.  Karen and I have know Amy since the late 80's.  Karen worked with her at a small IT firm before Amy moved on to Decision Systems Technologies, Inc., where I worked for her for almost 5 years.  During that time, Amy introduced Karen and I and often "recommended" that the two of us should get together.  I finally heeded that advice and after Karen finally gave in to my repeated requests for a date, the rest is history.  Amy and I have remained close friends and have been workig side-by-side at Northrop for several years.  Well, maybe not side-by-side ... Amy is VP and heads the Health IT business unit.  Thanks Amy for all you have done and meant in my life ... a great friendship, a great job, a great wife, and achievment of a great goal.

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 -  Thanks again everyone ... Talk to you from Astoria.