I wrote a blog on 4/7/13 just a little over a month ago about history not having to repeat itself if you plan... ( www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
)... it was about finally completing a bike ride that I had attempted before but never even got out of the car!
Well, I'm trying to do one organized bike ride a month... and I had my plan in place.. I was going to do the same thing I did in April, ask my niece to go with me.. I decided to do the Tour de Dale (primarily because it was a fundraiser for the highschool band).. and it is a small ride (about 100 riders).. .and it's rural (which I enjoy)... all of this sounded good.
My niece who went with me on the Redbud (my successful ride in April) was supposed to come with me... I'd paid her registration.. talked to her several times.. she seemed excited.. said she'd be over the night before the race to spend the night like she did last time.. talked to her at 5pm that evening.. all is a go.. but she never showed.. (she's 23).. no call.. no text.. nada.
So, when I got up Saturday morning I was irritated.. irritated not because she decided to bail (it happens) but because she didn't communicate that to me! ARGH.. so I was not in the best place mentally.. but I put the bike carrier on the car, loaded up the bike.. had a good breakfast.. drank a ton of water.. and was off to Dale Oklahoma (about a 50 minute drive from where I live).
I arrived very early and there was only 1 other rider there. I had preregistered and picked up both mine and my nieces t-shirts.. and drank some more water while I sat in the car... there ended up being about 100 riders and by 8am there was a lot of activity.. and the more lycra I saw the more I was filled with trepidation.. there's wasn't a lot of noise or talking.. that combined with the lycra made it feel very serious.. very..
and I began to let my insecurities grow... "I don't belong here".. "I'm the fattest one here"... "There's no way I can keep up"... "what if I get lost"...
and then I began to bargain.. "I can always just go to the lake and ride my miles there.. it's not like it matters where I ride"... or "I'll just hurry back to my Box (gym) and workout there because that's what's important, just to get my burn on"... or "no one has to know I didn't do it".. you get the picture..
I decided to just post a status on Sparkpeople... that I was struggling.. and that was when the tide turned
And a big SHOUT OUT to SCOOTER4263!! Thank you so much for your encouragement!
And so I set the timer on my phone for 1 minute and breathed slowly and deeply for that minute.. and planned... planned how I would simply GET OUT OF THE FREAKING CAR.. and here was my plan.. I will just get out and do 3 very simple things 1) unload my bike 2) go to the bathroom and 3) ask one of the organizers about how the route is marked (since this seemed to be giving me some real heartburn... and I did..
I unloaded my bike and the man next to my car was unloading his.. and he started up a conversation.. he ended up being a Policeman from a nearby community and was there because his daughter was in the band.. he was so nice.. and although he was very fit (clearly, he's a cop).. he admitted that he was a bit nervous because he'd never riden in an organized ride and had to borrow his bike from a friend.. my anxiety decreased by 1/2!!
Step 2... I went to the bathroom... and overheard a couple of women talking about how nervous they were.. "but what if i can't finish".. and these women were FIT and in lycra but they too had done the Redbud the month before but one of them hadn't been able to finish that race ... my anxiety decreased by 2/3!!
Step 3.. I spoke to one of the staff about how the course was marked.. he was sooooo nice.. and really made me feel comfortable.. so I was SET! and I updated my status
I started looking at everything a bit differently.. loved this guys shirt
Here's the starting of the 50 milers
I enjoyed the rural setting.. and thought these little miniature donkeys were soooo cute!
I knew from researching the course that the first 6 miles were pretty hilly with a HUGE hill at mile 6.. after that it was all good.. and that held true.. little rolling hills... (except not so little when you're pushing 285lbs up it! HA)
Most of the roads were two lanes.. but for a few miles we were on a 4 lane highway (which I actually liked better because there was more room for people to pass.. we have LOTS of big trucks here in Oklahoma).. but THIS was the monster hill... yes, the downhill portion was fun and I got up to 24mph.. but the uphill?? KILLED...
Gratefully, just past the hill was the refreshment station... and the SAG wagon.. but I wasn't tempted.. I drank a couple of bottles of water and visited with the band members.. and was on my way..
Here's where the problem began... I was totally looking forward to the back six because most of the big hills were over.. however, right about the time we go back to two lanes with no shoulder AND curves (which means cars won't give you much room because they don't know what's around the curve)...
My left foot starts to cramp.. the cramp moves my to my calf and I literally ran off the road and threw the bike down and started hobbling around like a fool.. OUCH.. I walked for a few minutes.. got back on the bike.. almost immediately my foot started cramping.. when it started moving up to my calf I bailed again.. had to do this 3 times.. ugh.. there was no room to walk on the road without getting hit by a car.. so i walked up and down some railroad tracks trying to work it out..
But I finished.. 12.5 miles.. took me 1 hour and 13 minutes... and I averaged 10.3mph... this is me after the race.. can you see the pain in my face?
So I had some of this..
I had to pull the CAR over twice on the way home to walk out cramps... then stopped at the healthfood store and got some electrolyte replacements.. and another 64oz of water.. LOL
But I did it and I have the T-shirt to prove it!
I felt the fear... and I pushed through it.. and I did it.. this just builds up my confidence for the next time... I really can do this.. on my own.. well, with a little help from my friends (thanks again Scooter4263!!)
97 Days til Africa
30lbs to go to Zip Line Goal