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My Tulsa Tough Experience - Part 2: The Schedule

Kindly suggest you start with  
Part 1: Meeting Shawn Brett

I got off the phone with Shawn and told Terry what I’d be doing at Tulsa Tough in 5 days.  He was concerned.  He didn't say it, but I could see his thoughts clearly in his expression.

“Don’t you think you might be overdoing it?”

“Please don't get an injury”

Shawn didn't want me filling a typical volunteer slot at Tulsa Tough, he wanted me to experience it like a Diva.  More specifically, he wanted me to ride, a lot!  His wife, Carol, was riding all 3 days and he thought we would have fun hanging out all weekend.  Carol also had the Tulsa Tough Divas to coordinate, so I could help her and then pitch in if Shawn needed something.  
The Diva Kits were the talk of Tulsa!  You can't beat a DNA Cycling fit and a cool design.

Shawn assured me that a cold front was expected for the region and I wouldn't be treated to the typical heat & humidity.  On top of that, he was offering up his bike so I didn't have to hassle with packing and paying to fly mine to Tulsa.  I had just finished the 100 Miles of Nowhere hours ago and now what had I committed to?  Terry had a point, plus I wouldn't have the luxury of sitting on his wheel in my time of need.  But my excitement was overriding logic, so I started planning.

I now had The Schedule that I needed to prepare for, both physically and mentally.

  • Noon – leave work, fly direct to Tulsa with saddle and pedals
  • 5p – arrive in Tulsa, hustle to Primal Pro Women's Cycling Clinic with the Divas, and finish up Shawn’s bike in time to join in
  • 8p – settle in with Shawn and Carol at their house in their youngest daughter’s bedroom.  Talk about premium host housing! 
  • 9a – Breakfast & Diva ride with Primal and Vanderkitten ~30 miles 
  • Late Morning/Early Afternoon - Do whatever Shawn & Carol need to help with final preparations for Tulsa Tough
  • 4p – arrive at Tulsa Tough Start/Finish area to help Divas with GranFondo registration
  • 7p – Women’s Pro Race starts – time for the cowbell

  • 7:30a – GranFondo start – 109 miles!
  • Late Afternoon/Evening – help Shawn if he needs it, but more likely just try to move and recover
  • 6p – Women’s Pro Race starts – more cowbell

  • 7:30a – GranFondo start – 35 miles
  • Late Morning/All Afternoon – Cry Baby Hill (how about another look at last year's video)
  • 2:10p – Women’s Pro Race starts – maximum cowbell
  • 6p – Final Tulsa Tough Podium and make sure Shawn doesn't need anything else
  • 7p – Diva After Party with Saris Cycling Group, Team Colavita and Christina Gokey-Smith

  • Most importantly #TakeMondayOff
  • Morning/Afternoon – help with any Tulsa Tough cleanup activities
  • 5p – fly home, don’t forget saddle and pedals and the compression tights 

Believe it or not, I’m not lucky enough to ride, blog, and recover all day long.  With work and a few other commitments, the next few days flew by.  I got out for a short spin on Tuesday to make sure my legs were still working and then packed everything up Wednesday night.  Terry drove me to the airport during lunch on Thursday and sent me off with a big hug, kiss, and gentle reminder not to overdo it.
Luckily, cowbells are not listed as hazardous materials
-at least a few people on Cry Baby Hill would disagree-

I was hoping to unwind on my flight, but sat next to a native Tulsan going home and we were both too excited about the upcoming weekend so we chatted the entire way.  I think I even convinced him to attend some of the Tulsa Tough activities or at least to go have a drink in The SoundPony to support cycling.
The SoundPony Rocks!

The plan was to look for Jim (GranFondo Director) outside baggage claim.  I turned on my phone so I could pull up his picture from Shawn’s email and had a text with a change of plans.  Now I needed to look for Tonja (Volunteer Coordinator) and her brown van.  I wasn't worried, Tulsa may be an International Airport, but it was still small.   
I carried on my backpack, so didn't stop at baggage and walked right outside.  No van with a lady but just in case I walked to the other pickup area with me eyes peeled. Shawn’s text mentioned he would send her contact info, but it hadn't arrived.  I wasn't in a hurry and assumed everyone was swamped, so I just stayed put.  

As I waited, I was surprised at the lack of heat & humidity, maybe the cold front was really happening.  Speaking of weather, my family and friends continued to send messages about staying away from tornadoes.  It was encouraging to see all the Oklahoma Strong support all weekend.  

I continued to look for Tonja and think about my Tulsa Tough Schedule.  Would I get along with Shawn’s wife, would I fit in with the Divas, would my body survive another 100 mile day on a borrowed bike in the Tulsa climate, and would I enjoy Tulsa Tough as much as I’d built it up in my mind?

You’ll have to wait for the next post for the answers and to see if I make the Primal Clinic in time.


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