It seems a little surreal as I sit here and type this out - I cannot believe I actually biked 100 miles today.
And to boot, no broken derailleur or any other bike malfunctions; not even a fall, and best I can tell, all body parts are intact. If that doesn't scream success from the girl who has not rode one time without some sort of catastrophic mishap occurring, I don't know what does.
Of course, there were some difficult miles - especially around miles 50-99 when my feet periodically had this excruciating burning sensation; around 58 when we started climbing Mt. Everest - for the 400th time; when we were riding in massive concrete suburbia USA and the sun was baking my skin a luscious red tone; when my water in my water bottle reached 1 degrees below boiling point; miles 40-90 when my back wasn't happy; or when I got to aid station at mile 76 and this complete sense of "yuck" momentarily took over my body. I especially loved it when I told Julie that if I had to climb one more hill that day, I was personally going to shoot her for getting me into this mess.
When you're pretty miserable and have only completed half of your day, your mind starts to mess with ya.
But somewhere around mile 78, my 1/4 PB sandwich, grapes, fresh water, trail mix, Oreo cookie, potty break, Cytomax and 600mg Ibuprofen cocktail kicked in and I felt...... fantastic!!!
I couldn't believe it!! I kept waiting for the death wish to happen - I read so many comments on my last blog post from all these uber cyclists how the last 20 are just a complete, utter mental and physical disaster, yet it never happened.
The suck-roar hills were behind us, the sun decided to shy away behind some gray clouds, I was now riding on my "home turf" - an area I ride frequently so I felt really comfortable knowing what was ahead. All of this, and the awesome concoction above just happen to occur simultaneously and Julie and I pedaled like we had fresh legs as we finished as strong at mile 100 as we did mile 1.
When this ride threw us some difficult miles, we sucked it up and prevailed. Me, RUNwithjill, just finished 100 cycling miles up one pretty intense 2000' mountain climb and many monster hills later. Man, I get chills just thinking about it.
If I had to pick between speed and endurance right now, it would be endurance. Maybe it's because I'm older and have a richer perspective about time. Maybe it's because as I re-enter the world of running, my pace is so far removed from where it was pre-injury 18-months ago .... I'm not sure why exactly but either way, I am learning to tame the beast of doubt and discouragement and pushing myself through the thin membrane of I can't do this to the wide, open space of well, maybe I can.
I'm pretty thrilled! If you couldn't tell. A few months ago I was in total agony riding 11 miles in my duathlon....today I rode 100 ...
"You're tougher than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can."
- Motta of the famous Leadville 100
(not that I'm ever doing it :))
I can't close without saying a very special thank-you to Julie for twisting my arm to do this ride. For the most part, we stuck together and without her witty humor and never-give-up attitude, this ride would have been totally miserable. Thank you, Julie - you ROCK!!!
Enjoy a few pictures from my ride today:
Around mile 13.5: Julie and I at the first aid station just before we started the
big 2000' climb up Lookout Mountain.
About mile 20, near Red Rocks State Park
Mile24: 2nd aid station. Girl bits a bit sore but some Chamois Butter did the trick!
Cycling friends: Sarah, Paul, Kathleen, Julie, and myself
About mile 30: Julie and the gorgeous countryside
About mile33: Pretty!!
About Mile 37
Close to mile 40. Not sure why I'm smiling!
About mile 46
About mile 60, when we crested Mt. Everest for the 300th time
At mile 76 aid station. If a picture paints a thousand words....
Mile 88: Last aid station and feeling mighty fine!
Done!! Post race burgers and beer, don't mind if I do!
About mile 21: So pretty along this stretch near Morrison (sorry, blogger is being difficult with this one picture so it is not in order. Grrr)