Chick-fil-A Ride for Heroes

I’ve spent much of Nick’s deployment running. Training runs, social runs, and races have popped up on my calendar almost daily since March, so it’s been a fun and challenging change of pace to begin road biking this summer. I adopted my road bike, Doris, in June, and have tried to ride as much as I can on the weekends. At first I was cautious and a little uneasy, but in just two months, I’ve come to love cycling.

At the finish of the Chick-fil-A Heroes Ride, 2012

Yesterday’s Chick-fil-A Ride for Heroes offered 14- and 28-mile courses, and I opted for the 28. There were several dancing Chick-fil-A cows at the starting line, the weather was beautiful, and the aid stations (thank you, REI, Criterium Bicycles, and Ascent Cycling!) were generous with food, water and electrolyte drinks. The low-key nature of the ride made it nearly perfect for a first-time rider like me.

The ride ended in Mountain Shadows Park; one of the areas of Colorado Springs that was devastated by the Waldo Canyon Fire. You could easily see the American flag that’s been placed on one of the peaks behind the Mountain Shadows community, so the location was a powerful reminder of how important is for us to support our firefighters and service members.

The Chick-fil-A Heroes Ride was a fundraiser for four great Pike Peak Region nonprofits:

The Home Front Cares – Supports families of deployed troops

Pikes Peak Regional Peace Officers’ Memorial – Raises funds to build a memorial in America the Beautiful Park to honor those who have died in the line of duty

Colorado Springs Professional Firefighters Local 5 – Oversees the Firefighers Fund which provides assistance to fallen firefighters and their families and the International Association of Fire Fighters Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial, community education programs the Burn Center

The National EMS Memorial – Working to erect a permanent National EMS Memorial in Colorado Springs

MilliGFunk & Doris after the Chick-fil-A Ride for Heroes

We’re down to the last three months of this deployment, and I’ve managed to run, ride and hike more than 450 miles so far.

In the next month, I’ll run another half marathon and also a 10K, I’ll see friends and family in California, I’ll hike the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim, and if all goes as planned, I’ll summit Pikes Peak.

2012 will be over before we know it, so I’m glad I was able to do at least one bike event this year. The fact that it was for a great cause only makes me more glad that I’m pushing myself to make the most of the time Nick’s deployed.

I’m curious: What do you do (or what did you do) to keep yourself busy and your mind occupied during your partner’s deployment?

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