This past weekend I participated in the MS 2 Day Ride. This was my 1st time doing anything like this and I signed up to do 100 miles (well 50 a day for 2 days). I love to ride & love a challenge. This summers weather has NOT been getting in the long rides that I enjoy very often.
The Rides start and finish were at Hammonasset Beach...so beautiful
It was way too cold to swim, but I would have loved to jump in the water and go...just listening to the waves always makes me smile :-)
Day 1 started @ 10am...the map said we would be doing 52 miles and I was up for it. There were 3 rest stops on the route. To be honest I was thinking I was just going to ride by them, but I stopped at them all, I was so hungry...I ate, stretched and off I went again. I was so hungry which isnt like me, usually I ride and ride and dont eat until I am done, but if I am hungry I eat. Day 1 had LOTS and LOTS of hills. A few of them were brutal, but I love a good hill to remind that I have what it takes to keep going, I love to push myself, makes the accomplishment mean so much more.
I had 2 things with me that help me push when I am tired...my bike necklace on (love ya VJ, so you rode with me too), you can see it on my pictures shining around my neck :-)
The other thing I always have a picture in my sports bra...this is the one I had with for the ride (well obviously a smaller one, and I would have posted it but it was not in the best shape after riding so long..ha ha)
That is my Lexie & My Bestest (my best friend), these 2 people remind me everyday how far I have come. They let me be ME, they allow me to not only reach for the stars but to grab them. I thank God everyday for all that I have...life is sweet!
So after 4 hours and 40 mins of riding, and 54.5 miles later I finished my ride for Day 1. I was starving, really dont know why I was eating constantly and had 2 bagels for breakfast too, I couldn't wait to get to the food, 2 hot dogs, a hamburger, potato salad and I still could have ate more, but dinner was coming in 2 hours so I hit the beer tent...lol...nothing like a nice cold beer after riding all day...YUM!
I rode this ride for 3 reasons.....
1 A dear friend of mine, Kim has MS and I love her dearly and want to help whatever way I can
2 The owner of the gym I go to has MS
3 Another goal to conquer
Along with me riding, my Lexie and her friend Erika volunteered with my dear friend Kim. They were right there waiting for me at the finish, that was so nice and made my day to see their smiles.
As I mentioned the owner of the gym I go to, Cardio Express, has MS. His name is Peter Rusconi. Well this man is just one on the kindest people I know. Saturday was the 1st day I had met Peter but he had already touched my life and my heart. Back in April I shared my story with him of the journey I had been on. This sweet man, not even knowing me began calling me and sharing tips for my Tri and encouraging me every step of the way to keep on reaching for that next goal. He bought me the road bike that I used for my Triathlon and this ride, without having ever met me. I cant say enough about Peter. He is a role model to me, he fights his own battle with MS, but you would never know it. He is out riding all the time, competing in Tris & other races as often as he can. I admire him and all that he is, all that he does, and through all of his own struggles he finds the time to give back to everyone that he can.
That is Peter, along with his girlfriend Kiara. I really don't have words to describe these two, ok maybe I do...they are like 2 angels from Heaven that landed on my shoulder and inspire me to be the best that I can be.
After dinner and some bingo that night I tried to sleep, but that didnt happen too well. The rain started about 2am and the worry set in, I had never rode in the rain, I didn't have any rain gear......ut oh how am I going to do this?
I was very nervous & the self doubt was kicking in a bit, I ate a big breakfast and was very quiet. Anyone that knows me would know that is NOT a good sign, I never stop talking so if I am quiet I am not happy. The rain was coming down and hard. Most of the people that has signed up for the 2 day ride had left, they were not riding because of the rain. As much as I was a bit intimidated by the weather there is one thing I am not....I AM NOT A QUITTER....one of my favorite quotes is....
Quitters NEVER Win and Winners NEVER Quit
I live by that everyday. So there was an alternate route because of the bad weather, it was not the full 50. Everyone I was riding with was taking the alternate route. The last thing I wanted to do was ride by myself in the pouring rain so off we went.....
I was soaked before I even started pedaling but I didnt care, I was determined to get to that finish line. The ride was only about 90 mins and when we got to the beach I had not completed 100 miles in 2 days. I was happy to have finished but a part of me was disappointed. I had set out to ride 100 miles for MS and I hadn't done that.
They had a wonderful clambake for everyone and massages, now that was the BEST! Good food and a massage, nothing better!
I had a great time, met some wonderful people, & rode for a cause that I support....BUT I wasn't done. I went home that day and relaxed, but something was bothering me alot. I felt like I had let myself down for not riding the full 100.
So, Monday after work I jumped on my bike and got it done. I pedaled away, even got stuck in the dark (and I hate to ride in he dark) but I was NOT coming home until my 100 miles were finished.
I finished, now I could breathe....I don't like to let myself down, it is hard to look in the mirror at someone you aren't happy with. Now I like that girl again...she finished what she started, way to go Heather!
I set the bar high in everything I do, life is too short not to challenge myself EVERYDAY.
Now I can wear my medal proudly....
So....now I have a new goal, one that I will conquer next Sunday....going to ride 100 in 1 day. I can do it and I will.
You can only go as far as you push....and I will NEVER stop pushing
Thanks for reading