They both just completed the team raceAthlete B-Fit B-Day Challenge.
Amber Travsky, the outdoor writer, filed this report below.
Bill Anders, the soldier serving in Iraq,
decided to run 40-miles for his 40th B-Day as swimming and biking were not an option for him in war torn Iraq. You can read his B-Fit B-Day report HERE.
Take the challenge on your next birthday
By Amber Travsky
I’d hoped for a calm day but Mother Nature ignored my bidding. Instead, I was greeted with a 15 mph breeze. By Wyoming standards that’s not a big deal but I knew the wind would only increase as the morning wore on.
My plan was to start early to get a few miles on my bicycle before the wind was much of an issue. I waited a little extra in hopes that the temperature would inch upward from the overnight low of 35 degrees. It was maybe five degrees warmer when I set out at 8 a.m. I wore a hat under my helmet, gloves, tights and a wind-resistant jacket. Thanks to the miracle of fleece, I was plenty warm except for my toes. In spite of having insulated covers over my cycling shoes, my toes were nearly numb. I just kept pedaling to keep warm.
I was on the first leg of my B-fit B-Day Challenge. While a more common commemoration is cake and ice cream, I opted for a fitness challenge. As the Web site (www.bfitbday.com) states, the challenge is to “swim, bike and run your age. The challenge is a celebration of your life, health, and fitness on your birthday.”
To do the challenge, take your age – the new one – to determine distances. Swim the first number, times 1,000 yards; run the miles of the second number and bike the combined numbers. It is my 53 rd birthday so I’ll swim 5,000 yards, run three miles and bicycle 53 miles. If I do it all within 24 hours, which is my plan, I earn gold status. Doing it in three days is the bronze level and silver goes to those completing it the week of their birthday. The “prize” is personal satisfaction and posting of the accomplishment on the Web site.
After 27 miles into a chilly 20 mph headwind, I got to the fun part of my bike ride: I turned around and pedaled the next 27 miles with a 20 mph tailwind. I grinned all the way.
Once back home, I had to put the challenge on hold due to work commitments. I figured I had 24 hours to meet the gold standard and that allowed me gaps between the events. I would prefer to do the three events one after the other, but I also had to juggle real life commitments.
I started stage two well before dawn the next morning. With Muggle, my Australian shepherd, at my side and using a headlamp to light the way, I headed out on my gravel road loop for my three mile run. Even in the dark, Muggle saw - or at least thought he saw - some pronghorn to chase. The bright red bicycle taillight I had clipped to his collar bounced across the prairie. After a few minutes he realized the pronghorn had the upper hand and returned to my side.
Once back home, I changed clothes and hurried to the local pool for the final stage of my challenge: the 5,000 yard swim. That’s just about three miles, making for a lot of back and forth in the pool. I use a special swimmer’s MP3 player to help pass the time and have a lap counter to keep track of the distance. After just a few laps, I’m off into na-na land and just enjoying the swim. It felt good and I was motivated with the end of my B-Fit B-Day challenge close at hand.
To meet the 24-hour limit, I needed to finish the swim by 8 a.m., the time I’d started the bike ride the day before. Luckily, I pulled it off, finishing my laps with 10 minutes to spare. I made the gold!
The B-fit B-Day Challenge is open to all comers even if you’re closer to being a couch potato than a triathlete. Just set the goal and, if you’re new to fitness, follow the training plans off the web site. Check it out if you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate your special day. The cake and ice cream will still be there and it’ll likely taste even better once you’ve met your goal.