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How does one train for a 24 day bike ride? It’s hard to say there is one correct way. Everybody has different challenges and needs. For me, it was endless hours dedicated to road rides and indoor bike training, and adjusting daily routines and diet.

 For the above average athlete this may not be so much to ask, but for someone with a history of knee pain and other discomfort, it has certainly become one of my largest obstacles. From day one of training, I have been easing my way in slowly to ensure my knee does not act up again. While I made adjustments to overcome my knee discomfort, I still faced a difficult learning curve for what to eat and what not to eat before, during, and after each ride. Thankfully I had Hartley on my side to guide me with his healthy habits!

There is no rhyme or remedy to gaining the type of endurance necessary to last 24 days other than sheer dedication and a healthy mental state. Warning: Beginning indoor training for the first time, especially during the winter is horrible. My first class in December was not the most positive memory. To summarize, I walked in and impressed everyone in the class by telling them I am training for a bike ride to Halifax. I then proceeded to embarrass myself 30 minutes into the lesson by jumping off the bike mid-interval gasping for air. In my defense, the class was called ‘Intensity Tuesdays’ and was filled with experienced riders. The good news is that the training became much easier after three weeks. One of my greatest achievements this year has been proving to people that once I set a goal, I can stick to it. I have had the same fundraising goal and biking distance goal since last summer and I am proud that I have not once thought about lowering these goals. Over the past year I have gained confidence in my biking for pacing to keep stamina. So far this year, I have biked close to 3000 km leading up to the ride. I have come to the realization that regardless of the training I have completed during the past year, I need to be motivated on a day to day basis during my journey to Halifax, or I will not be able to complete 100+ km per day. ‘Luckily’ I have a great deal of motivation going forwards in this journey, and I could not have persevered without the help of so many kind individuals who guided me along the way.

My greatest supporter has definitely been Hartley. Not only has he been my health and fitness advisor, but he has been a major factor in making this journey come together. It’s simple, without Hartley, this journey would not be happening. He has supported me through the year and has taken on the challenge of dealing with me for almost a full month. Hartley and I know we are going to have a lot of fun throughout our travels, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. In addition to my 2,200 km of biking, Hartley has 2,200 km of driving each way plus 100 km of running.

Before creating the Journey for Janice, I had never met another biker with a similar experience. Fun enough, I happened to meet another cross-country biker a few weeks after starting this project! That same week I was introduced to another cross-country biker. The first biker, Amy Tunstall, biked across Canada last summer raising funds for the Niagara Suicide Coalition for suicide awareness and prevention. The second biker is one of Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s ambassadors, Keith Martin, who biked across Canada in 2008 with four others in support of the organization. These two individuals have inspired me to bring my fundraising efforts to new heights! This ride has already become something much greater than we ever imagined and we have already doubled our initial fundraising goal!

As the Journey for Janice quickly approaches, I look back on this year in awe. The support we have received in memory of my mom and in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada has been amazing. I don’t think it has sunk in yet, but it is a great feeling to have already raised over $15,000 and an additional $5000 in sponsorship. We are incredibly excited for the journey that lies ahead!

Stay tuned for our blogs throughout our journey to Halifax!

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To learn more about Journey for Janice or to donate, please click here.

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