LiveSTRONG Ride - Done

Last night I sat down to the computer and started writing a blog entry that pretty much found more failure on my behalf than success this weekend. The things I said about myself I would never have said to a friend. On the ride home, after talking about the weekend, several things occurred to me.

This weekend is not about me and my accomplishments. I mean, it is to some degree, but that's the least of it in the big picture. The weekend was about everyone challenging themselves by doing what others cannot, while raising money and awareness for Cancer... all kinds of Cancer.

Darren reminded me of what one of the announcers said, "This weekend is about giving YOUR 100%" And that 1 person's 100% might not be the same as someone else, so there is no reason to feel badly about what I did or did not accomplish.

I did the 5K at a 12.2 pace -- that's phenominal for me. The ride, well, that was a different story. I registered for the 65 miles and decided to do the 45 mile ride and it turned into 30 miles.

I started the ride and was quickly separated from my friends once we hit the hills. 2 of them were new to biking and through no fault of their own, they were going to be slower just because they were on mountain bikes. I felt badly, but there was little I could do except sit on the roadside and wait. I took liberty meeting some of the folks who were on the roadside cheering everyone on to show appreciation (and to give my friends a chance to catch-up). The cheerleaders along the course are so inspiring... just when you think you have nothing left, they just talk you through it. We had cattle ranchers, cowbells, marching bands and just good ol' fashion lawnchair observers watching us do our thing.

The ride started out fun, but I knew immediately the 5K took a ton out of my legs. I didn't want to admit it. I thought that if I just kept spinning I would get my legs back.

The course was immediately challenging. Keep in mind (I didn't know this before I started) these are the same roads Lance rides on routinely. The climbs were steep and the downhills were freakin' scary -- even with a head-wind, imagine 30+ mph, downhill, on a bike! I passed up the first rest-stop at just 4 miles in (it was BUSY!) and went on to the 2nd.

Things quickly went downhill (no pun intended). I got 2 flat tires before the 10 mile mark. Ugh! I changed one, then a mile up the road got another (the tube was bad). Had 1 tube left... if it went I would get a DNF, as the SAG wagon didn't stock tubes with the extra-long valve.

I got back on the bike and my legs and hips were just tired. No burning no anything, just tired... like I had no juice. I had to get off my bike several times to make it to the top of a couple climbs. I even called my friend Courtney for some inspirational speech on my cell phone -- or to at least let someone know that if I didn't return to send out the search parties. Seriously, at one point we were joking as the raven's were circling over our heads. LOL I was feeling pretty badly physically and was beating myself up pretty good mentally. I just couldn't understand why I didn't have it in me... I mean, I did the MS150... never had to dismount my bike once! I thought about all the things I had managed to do, but couldn't see why this was such a problem -- I thought, "It's just another challenge."

I got to the second rest stop and I took a long break, ate and hydrated. Went potty and checked out the map. At just 15 miles in, the thought of SAGging back crossed my mind briefly as my hips and legs were killing me. I realized that people were cutting their distance down by re-entering the ride at a different spot.

So after much argument with myself, I decided I would do the same -- at least I wouldn't be SAGging, and 30 miles in these hills was still a huge challenge. By the time I allowed myself to take the shortcut they were packing up the rest-stop -- that's how far behind I was. As I headed up the road I came across my friends. They were plodding along trying to make it to the stop to get some food and hydration. I stopped them and told them they were packing up, but a SAG wagon came by and gave them some food and drink. I told them my plan, and they were for it too. They were giving it their 100% -- we all were. It was just hard!

We re-entered the ride, and thankfully had tail-winds. I needed every bit of help. The chip-gravel, bumpy roads were causing my elbows to ache. Everytime I rode over a set of cattle grates I prayed I wouldn't wipe out. Cattle grates are almost like shallow ditches with pipes spaced out across them to keep the cattle from going up the road. They're hard on the bike. In fact, I think that's how I got my first pinch flat.

I can say this though... I was ahead of Lance on the course! That is until he passed me! LOL He was doing the 90 mile route. I had hit about 23 miles and a cop car came up behind me. The SWOOOOSH, like a swarm of bees, Lance and his guys zipped past me. Then, a couple minutes later, the group of guys that he dropped s. It was kind of wild to know that I just rode next to Lance, even if it was for a nano second. LOL

Word on the course was that some woman beat Lance's time by 5 minutes... evidently she hangs out at Mellow Johnny's, Lance's bike shop in Austin. Don't know if it's true, but that was the word.

The last coule miles were a welcomed change from the chip-gravel country roads. We were on the regular pavement and with no hills and a tailwind I was actually going 23 mph!

I crossed the Finish and felt a little defeated. But I'm not going to focus on that. Because having done the 5K the day before and riding the following day is something new for me and my body. Just because I can ride 2 days back-to-back, doesn't mean I can just waltz in and over-achieve.

I have every reason to feel good. I did give this MY 100%, and I do.


  1. If you were perfect the first time - would you have any reason to challenge yourself for the next time? I think that you did a wonderful job, and I know that you'll be back to do more next time too.


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