After 3 ½ months of early Saturday morning training rides, no Friday night social life, a sore ass, and more McDonald’s than the average person should consume, I’ve finally completed my big 65 mile bike marathon! Yes that’s right people, I did it! And I lived to tell the story!
If you recall in a blog post from a couple months ago, I saw this marathon as my “30th birthday challenge”. But about 35 miles into the training schedule, I was really starting to doubt my sanity! I just couldn’t picture myself being on a bike for six hours! Say whaaaaaat? I mean look – I’m not a cyclist. I had to purchase a bike and all the fixin’s in order to do this. But something clicked in my head when the opportunity presented itself… Like, DING DING DING: I’m going to prove that I can do anything I want to do – and if I don’t? Well then I only have my lazy 30-year old ass to blame.
So for 13 weeks, my riding group and I got out there and reached a new mileage milestone each week. And remember how bad my arse was killing me back around 35 miles? Well it turns out that when I purchased that new, cushier riding seat and had my husband, Jeff, put it on my bike – he put it on backwards!! The little “head” thingy that the seat sits on was turned completely around, causing the narrow front portion of the seat to be facing upward instead of flat. What this means is that for about four weeks all my weight was coming right down on my baby maker and it was KILLIN’ MEEEEE! And to think after that got fixed I could ride 50 miles virtually painless! This gives true meaning to the phrase, “my husband is a royal PAIN IN MY ASS!”
On the night before the ride I wasn’t nervous for the actual cycling part. I felt confident – I had trained well. My anxiety rested solely on getting up at 5am and being at registration by 6:30am. And sure enough, I set my “weekday” alarm for 4:45am and then turned my “weekend” alarm on. At 5:35am I flew out of bed and proceeded to fly through the shower, makeup application, dressing, bossing Jeff around, etc. all while saying; “shitshitshitshitshitshitshitshit” until I was in the car driving to the fairground’s starting point.
As far as the actual ride went – it was rough. It was cold, extremely windy, gloomy, and it even rained on us for about 45 minutes! I’ve experienced a couple rides in 70+ degree weather and blue skies, and I can’t stress how much weather impacts your overall attitude during the ride. Plus, we only trained up to 50 miles, so I could definitely feel my body reacting to the extra 15 miles. It was like; “Mama, get me the FUCK off this bike!”
A new perspective
As we turned onto the street that would be our final mile, my friend and riding partner, Melissa, gleefully said; “We’re almost there! We’re almost there!” and at that moment something caught in my throat. Was that a lump? Was I about to cry? I guess I was. Because all these weeks of hard work and determination was coming to an end. And suddenly I was sad about it. My 3 ½ month journey began to flash before my eyes and I realized it was more than just a bike ride. It was the realization that if I set my mind to something, I can do anything I want to do. That’s a really powerful thought. I’m now a true believer that anything is possible with a little determination and hard work. And I’m not just talking about athletic events either – I’m talking anything in life.
Gimme a break!
So now that this is over, the ladies in my group are talking about a 75 mile bike ride next month and a century ride (100 miles) through Lake Tahoe after that. And I’m thinking; just because I know I CAN DO IT – it doesn’t mean I want to! I’m ready for a new challenge. But first, I’m ready for a break. Namely, I intend to get drunk this Friday and sleep in on Saturday…