Mary Sheckler Mary's Blog Leave a Comment

The excitement began as I looked around me at the START line of the ScenicShore150 bike race last weekend. With over a 1,000 participants getting ready to start day one, it was a much different atmosphere than I have ever been in. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t intimidated. I felt out of place. I felt underdressed (I don’t own a bike shirt). I felt unprepared. However, I was really glad that my friend had told me about bike shorts, cause at least that made me feel more like a “biker.” (BTW, padded bike shorts do amazing things)

And off we go in a small heat. Not much after, we start getting passed…by everyone. As we begin counting the people that passed us, my friend and I look at each other and kinda chuckle. We knew we weren’t prepared bikers, but we weren’t prepared to get passed by everyone. A few people told us that we are working much harder than they were. We found out they were referring to our bikes. I don’t know much about bikes besides I have a Hybrid and this was a road race, which is when you want to have a road bike.

Before we began, I thought 75 miles…wow, that’s going to be tough. Once the ride began however, we were able to take rests and even a lunch break so the hours of biking weren’t really all that “tough.” We weren’t going crazy fast by any means but keeping a nice pace the whole 75. Five and a half hours later, we crossed the finish line. I thought to myself…wow, that wasn’t bad. It was actually pretty enjoyable. But I knew day two would be a little tougher.

We went to bed with satisfaction of completing the first 75 miles and woke up to the disappointing news that day two had been cancelled.

{Official announcement! The scenic shore 150 bike tour for day two is canceled due to very severe weather conditions including flash flooding on the route and threat of severe storms including ones that have the possibility of producing heavy rains, hail winds and tornadoes. We are currently serving breakfast at UW Manitowoc. Shuttle service to campus is running. We anticipate bike and bus service back to Mequon to start around 9 AM.}

I was disappointed because I hate not finishing something. I really wanted to prove to myself that I could do this. And, I knew that day 2 was going to be harder. And now I can’t walk away being satisfied…

When I told people about this race, they thought I was crazy for trying this especially since I am not a biker. But in actuality, I think they are crazy for not believing they can do the same thing. I am not just talking about this bike race, I am talking about the 5K or the 10K or the Half or Full Marathon that you don’t think you can finish or be fast enough for. Or that triathlon that seems impossible.

Nothing is impossible…especially if you have been training. I get asked all the time; what am I training for. This is a great example of why I never stop training. Cause I am not really training for anything in particular. I am training for everything.  Everything I want to do in this life. I love adventures. I love challenges. I love the excitement of races. I don’t love the feeling of disappointment, but I love how it makes me better. Physical strength will get you to the start line. But mental strength will get you to the finish line. And it’s not always about how fast you finish.

When I was talking with my friend who had done the race before, she said..“Chafing never killed anyone but leukemia and lymphoma has!” I knew I had to take precautions for chafing seriously. I actually used coconut oil and it worked like a charm! I had absolutely no chafing. I also stayed hydrated with lots of water. I refueled with HoneyStinger Waffles and Bonk Breakers.

Some of the ride was along Lake Michigan so it was truly a beautiful scenic route. It went past the PGA course, Whistling Straights. Even when it was 85 degrees, it felt great! I was super excited for the second days’ views. The views weren’t the only thing that made this race great! It was an event to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This particular race raised over $1.2 million this year! I have many close friends that have been touched by this disease. They were my motivation and my mental strength. And the reason I am going to do it again next year!

It’s not always about how fast you finish. It’s about enjoying the ride…

More about Scenic Shore Race:
The Scenic Shore 150 Bike Tour was named Best Cycling Event in the Midwest by Competitor Magazine 2 years in a row! The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was also once again named Best Charity to Raise Money For and Team In Training was named 2014 Best Charity Running Program.
The Scenic Shore 150 Bike Tour is a two day, 150 mile, fully-supported cycling event that is open to riders of all ages and abilities. One of Wisconsin’s most popular bike rides, the Scenic Shore 150 is the largest locally organized and supported event for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. With 1,300 riders raising over $1.2 million we continue to be one of the premier charity cycling events in the Midwest.
The beautiful shoreline of Lake Michigan is the picturesque setting for a weekend of riding the shore for a cure!  We invite you to join up to 1,500 cycling enthusiasts who will pedal 150 miles in support of a cure for blood cancer. Your life will be changed as you are cheered on and supported on the route by blood cancer survivors and their families!



I write blogs about my accomplishments, my failures, my doubts, my goals, and my inspiration. But, it’s really not about me. It’s about real life and the challenges we each face and continuing to find your strength along the way. I want to inspire people, but I also want them to see the real me. I am just a normal person trying to do the best I can with what I was given. This is my journey and you have yours.  Nobody is perfect…all the time. We all suck at things. -Mary Sheckler



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