See, there were 400 other people out there, trying to go fast and I kind of got caught up in it. A power descended on me and I could not resist... until I could no longer submit.
The day started bright and sunny with hotel breakfast and a quick run to Starbucks. Then it was of for a drive through the country to find the start. Our plan to get there before the crowds was shattered when we pulled up and there was already a line formed with a couple hundred more riders rolling to the start. I was mostly ready so I finished getting my gear on, bid the family farewell and headed to the back of the line.
|This is how I mark my bike...;|
After getting started, going to fast, slowing down, getting stuck behind slower riders etc, I kept going too fast. This scenario repeated itself all day long leaving me on the verge of cramping and praying that I would finish and not DNF.
What happened? I went to hard too soon. I hope I got that out of my system for the year. It seems this is a hard lesson to learn and I am not done learning it yet. Don't know why....
At the last water stop, with 10 miles to go, I was blown. I was cramping in my right hamstring and my left trapezoid. My arms were like rubber and my eyes were stinging from the dry, cold air. I passed the spot where I DNF'ed last time I was out here and that gave me a little boost. Then I pulled out the Honey Stinger Lemon Lime Chews with caffeine, and munched every mile or so for the last 6 miles. Little miracles infused with honey, and while all I wanted to do was sleep, I was able to summon the energy to continue driving forward.
When the spectator said "1 Mile to go" I did not believe him and asked " Exactly 1 mile?". He assured me that it was and I knew then that I would make it. I tried to accelerate but my body would not have it.
Crossing the finish line felt great. I wasn't worried about my time, just elated to have finished, and motivated to put my nose to the grindstone on the training end of things. Not that I have not been training, just December hit, along with illness and the holidays, you know.
So, my first long training ride of the year complete, and as I sit here writing, I feel fatigue but not unusually sore, thanks again to Eddie O'dea and the Wobblenaught fit. And thanks to Brendan at Siren Bicycles (and Mary) for some quality work on the Siren 55 SL!! And thanks to my awesome wife and kid for being my support crew. I apologize to the folks who tried to talk to me after the race and I didn't stick around. I was heading over to get some food and spend time with them.
See you next time.