Sunday, June 8, 2008

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You More Prepared

Yesterday's 68 mile ride had 3800 ft of elevation gain and 3800 ft of descending. Abby's side comment of "What doesn't kill you makes you more prepared" ran through my mind often. I guess the main thing that sticks out in my mind about this ride is that constantly thinking about crying and/or puking is not the kind of thing I need to focus on. I needed to turn my brain around and keep those other thoughts out. I think I was successful. I know I was successful because I FINISHED the ride!!!! It was one of my proudest moments. Probably the hardest physical thing I've ever done. My dad asked "Harder than a marathon?" - answer is Yes. With the marathons you can at least slow it down to a walk and you can almost always keep stumbling forward but on a bike - going UPHILL - you have no choice but to work. No stumbling forward in this activity - you MUST keep working. It was tough. Puking tough.

We had a staggered start out at Edgefield. Slower people at 7:30, next group at 8 and fastest at 8:30. My group of 4 ended up starting at 7:45 (and we still ended up being the last group to cross the finish line...of course...). Abby, Sheryl, Kelly and I had a nice start- waking up and getting going with a little conversation until the first big hill which I took nice and easy and felt GREAT about. I didn't realize then how many more (and longer ones) were to come. As we made our first big descent we were so happy and hollering and then it turned bittersweet as the thought hit us that this was an out and back and for every descent from here out it would be a big climb coming back.

Although it was the toughest ride I had done, by the 1/2 way mark I still felt pretty good. Things went downhill fast....or uphill, I should say. WOW! Although Dano and Kelly had advised me to raise my seat up 1/2 inch before the ride I still ended up with quad cramps at about mile 40. Sheryl gave me a salt tab and that seemed to help a bit, but the ride home in the truck was miserable. My legs hurt so bad I was crying and I couldn't believe that within minutes of getting home the pain subsided like it did. My legs feel great today!

The ride itself was sure pretty. It would have been nice to have sun and a little warmth but it was rainy and cloudy the whole day. A couple of great views, lots of animals - cows, BIG pig, lots of dogs, chipmunks, ponies, the cutest baby goat that came out to visit with us at one of the aid stations, lots of birds flying in front of me - on descents it would scare me that they were going to fly in my face, and one horribly smelling dead skunk.

At about mile 51 Sheryl said she was done and was going to look for the aid car. We found it - Abby was already there to catch a ride due to a painful knee. Sheryl asked me if I was stopping. I wanted to. I wanted to SO BAD, but there was no way I was quitting. My nerves were getting the best of me though, because there were only about 5 other people going on and they were way faster than me so I would get left behind and I just knew I would get lost - it's just the way I am - can't follow directions for anything! There were two people behind us but I didn't know how far back and if I waited much longer I thought my legs would start cramping up too bad. I guess I kind of guilted her into keep going as she got all re-fueled and we set off again. Fortunately by this point there was only one big hill left and LOTS of descending so for me it was the right choice to continue on.

68 miles - 5 Hours 50 Minutes. Everything hurt when we were done. Even my armpits. My back - oh man. Wouldn't take it back for a minute. What Doesn't Kill You Makes You More Prepared.


Well Behaved Krissy said...

You're doing AMAZING Julie!!! keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Awesome job! I knew you wouldn't quit :-)