Sunday, August 05, 2012
As many of you know, I participated in Pedal to the Point, the Multiple Sclerosis 150-mile bike ride.
Except it turns out that the race organizers mapped out a 165-mile ride for us to enjoy. Which didn't make any of us very happy. But, hey, you're out there with almost 3,000 people, you do what you have to.
Also, it was supposed to be 92 degrees and sunny. Not my favorite riding weather. In preparation for the ride daughter Erin and I started drinking Powerade and hydrating like crazy.
Then on Friday afternoon, Hubby and I had to get into our bee hives to add a new set of frames. The bees are usually very docile and I don't even have to wear gloves. But the bees were agitated because a skunk had been after the hive, so they came after me and stung me twice on the right hand, one on the index finger and one on the base of the thumb.
Plus, there is still the bruised tailbone giving me trouble. This was an inauspicious beginning, to say the least.
But I was game anyway. So Erin and I were at the start by 5:30am. Start time was supposed to be 7, and we were anxious to get some miles behind us before it got warm. Unfortunately, the "guest of honor" was late and had to make a long speech. The whole crowd was highly irritated at the delay, all of us knowing that the cool weather was crawling away from us.
Finally at 7:25 the event started. We pulled out as quickly as possible and headed down the long hill that we groaned at the notion of coming back up on the second day (this year the race start had been moved to a location that was much hillier for who knows what reason). The first part of the ride wasn't bad, and we reached the lunch break, 35 miles in, at 10:00. We ate quickly, but by the time we were done with lunch the cloud cover was burning off and it got really, really hot. With the heat, and the wind blowing into our faces, it got really uncomfortable really soon. By the time we got to the second to last break, SAG (Support and Gear) trucks were loaded down with bikes from people who were dropping out and two ambulances had passed by.
We were about 20 miles away from the finish line, and decided that this would be a good time for a long break in the shade. And man, were we going through the Gatorade!
We got back on the road and just about melted. But finally we turned north and had the wind behind us. We got in at just before 4pm with 80 miles done. With breaks, the riding time was just under 6 hours. We staggered off to the hotel, got showers, and went down to the pool to meet up with the rest of the team.
That's when we found out that it had been 103 degrees that afternoon. One. Hundred. Three.
I'm really glad we didn't know during the day, because it would have psyched us out.
This morning we got a decent start, but then rain came in. We got drenched, and at the second stop, which was at a little market store. We waited it out for about an hour and ate snacks. By the time the rain was slowing, though, the volunteers were pulling down the rest stop and we realized that we were really far behind. We got on the bikes and headed out and good clip. We caught up with and passed a lot of riders, and made the next 20 miles in about 90 minutes, pulling into the lunch location at 11:40.
But the ride was starting to tear up my back. I was in a lot of pain and couldn't get comfortable in the saddle. My tailbone was pretty much on fire. And then when I peeled my riding gloves off my hand was completely swollen, and my arm was swollen about halfway up the the elbow.
44 miles in, and I realized that I simply could not go on, not without risking really injuring myself. Erin, who is very much a cheerleader type, took a look at my hand and insisted that I stop. So I called Hubby, who was at the finish line, and told him that I needed to be picked up.
Then I put my head down and cried a little. Erin went on, because she still had it in her, and I waited, watching more SAG trucks picking up bikes, watching an entire schoolbus of riders loading up for the ride back to the starting line. I watched the volunteers pull down the lunch stop. When hubby arrived, I cried a few more tears, then we headed back.
I almost refused to take the medal. But the race veterans pointed out to me that people who only ride one day get a medal. In fact, people who only ride the 35 miles to the lunch stop get a medal. They also pointed out that only a third of the people who ride the first day also ride a second day. They reassured me that I had nothing to be ashamed of.
So. I biked 125 miles over two days. I biked through staggering heat and humidity. I biked wet and cold.
And I was smart enough to stop before I hurt myself. The one thing Hubby and I discussed before this was how important it was that I not let my obsessive nature overtake my common sense and end up injuring myself and losing the progress I've made. Calling it quits was actually harder than pushing through would have been.
I am not entirely happy with what happened. But I am satisfied.
Friday, August 03, 2012
Tomorrow morning, we get up at 4am to get to the starting line on time for the big ride.
Turns out the big ride is bigger than we thought. Someone did the route math, and it's 81 miles on the first day and 84 on the second. I'm a bit irked, but relieved that I learned that before the ride because I will be mentally prepared for the extra miles. But it's kind of irksome that they didn't route it better.
DD and I are eating lots of protein and carbs, and drinking sports drinks to get our electrolytes up for the ride. It will be an early bedtime tonight.
Wish me luck!!!
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Lots has happened in the last week-and-change, some of it good, some of it bad, but all of it keeping me away from Spark People.
First of all, last Sunday I took a bad fall and bruised my tailbone. I was in so much pain that I thought I might have cracked it, and wanted a doctor's okay before getting back on my bike. My doc wasn't available, so I went to an urgent care clinic where they x-rayed me. The tailbone was undamaged (though I have a pretty spectacular bruise at the base of it), but the x-ray revealed extensive arthritis at the base of the spine, just above the tailbone. This is not the kind of news that makes me happy, to say the least. The urgent care doc said he couldn't provide any kind of evaluation on the basis of those x-rays, so I will need to get to my doctor and get a thorough evaluation.
Guarded good news is that my mother-in-law has not yet developed multiple myeloma, though her blood toxin levels are getting close to the breakover point. Fingers are crossed and prayers are being said that the rise in her levels stops, because she has a gene indicator that says that if she develops it, it will be a very aggressive form and quickly fatal. I have the best MIL in the world, so I really hope she stabilizes.
After a week off my bike, DD and I have ridden the last two days. Thursday we only rode 12 miles, but yesterday we did 37.5. We were attending a Critical Mass group ride, and on the way downtown we were caught in a serious rainstorm. It was warm, though, and we just laughed our way through it. The rain stopped for the group ride, but when it was over and we were headed home in the dark, we got caught in a serious deluge. Soaked to the skin and shivering, we finally took refuge at a Taco Bell, where we had a snack and waited out the storm. When it finally stopped we had to apologize to the employees for the LAKE of water that was under our table. Once we got home, we celebrated our accomplishment with hot showers, dryer-warmed fluffy bathrobes, and hot toddies while we watched the opening ceremonies for the Olympics.
Today I am definitely feeling the ride in my tailbone region, but also in my feet and legs from taking a lot more weight so I could be off the seat much more than usual. I'm hoping to get a short ride in before hubby arrives home from California, but I'm not going to fret if that doesn't happen.
Next weekend is Pedal to the Point. 75 miles of riding, two days in a row. I'm a bit nervous, but also excited. I'm also determined not to injure myself with this ride. If it proves to be too much, then I will SAG. Because hurting myself over one event is foolish in the greater scheme of good health.
I just hope I can remember that on the rode, if it comes down to it....
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Yesterday I checked my basement closet for more clothes that might now fit me. There was a pair of size 14 jeans there, which looked TINY. My daughter encouraged me to try them on anyway, just to see how close I was getting.
Imagine my shock when they zipped up. Of course, the "muffin top" I was sporting was more like a mushroom cloud, and they are still too tight to wear, but I'm very close! And the 16s I found in there fit perfectly now. Considering that I was wearing a pair of 24s last September, I'm pretty happy with that progress.
But then came the scary part: I let my daughter pack up all my outgrown clothes and take them to Goodwill. She pulled out a few items that she thought she could sell on eBay, but 90% of my fat wardrobe is now GONE. That's a little terrifying. It feels like my safety net is gone.
I know that's really a good thing, but it's tough to let go like that.
Sunday, July 08, 2012
1. Wake up at 6:00, start a pot roast cooking.
2. Bike 63 miles in 4 and three quarter hours.
3. Attempt to be nonchalant about this, but WOOHOO!!!
4. Resent that Spark People will only credit me with less than half my exercise minutes. Pout.
5. Attempt to stand back up, fail.
6. Have hubby fetch me Advil.
In a little bit I will get up and put the rest of the veggies in the pot roast. My daughter accompanied me on the whole journey. Go us!
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