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!”

Race day

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…

10 Comments on How my 65 mile bike marathon changed my perspective

  1. I know I’ll probably have the same feeling when I finish my half marathon and especially when I reach the top of my first mountain summit. Good job. Now get Jeff out there and get him to start being active. He’s like I was when I was younger when dad always wanted me to run the Sunburst with him. Once he realizes getting in shape is fun, he’ll want to do it all the time.

  2. It’s a great feeling to finish something like this. You feel so empowered. I feel like I can do anything. Maybe I want to be a famous blogger someday! Maybe I want to write a bestselling book!! HA! I can do whatevah!

    I’ve been urging Jeff to take on a new challenge and really stick with it. He gets plenty of exercise, but he just doesn’t push himself to do something really challenging and out of his comfort zone. I’m workin’ on him though…

  3. I loved your blog post! I, too, was part of the Feather Pedals and this was my first time (in a long time!!) training for something like this, too, so I can definitely relate! For me it was my “57th birthday challenge,” – I had ridden bikes way back in my 30s, had kids, and did not get back into until last year. My husband suggested I do this, and he actually rode on the training rides with me. The whole experience was really great for me, too, and yes….I had tears in my eyes at the finish!! In two weeks my husband, daughter and son-in-law are doing the 51 mile Breakaway Challenge Ride in Santa Rosa – guess I am back hooked on bicycling!

    Good that you figured out the seat problem on your bike – sure makes a world of difference!! Thanks for sharing your blog on the Feather Pedals message list, and also, CONGRATULATIONS to you on accomplishing your goal!! Feels good, huh??!!

  4. Thanks Janice! That’s so great that your husband rode with you during training! I tried to get mine to ride but he had no interest in going that far! Although, once we did ride our bikes to Walnut Creek for breakfast and rode back! That was nice.

    Yes, taking up a new sport at 30 and not only doing it – but falling in love with it – feels really good. I think I’ll be sad this coming weekend and miss my bike! Might need to bring ‘er out for a short breakfast ride to Walnut Creek. 🙂

    Congrats to you too girl!

  5. Thanks Courtney! Hope to see you on some more rides with the Feather Pedals if you do any of the monthly ones they have. Keep working on your husband (!) – he might just fall in love with bicycling, too!

  6. Way to go Court! Did you know they have something called “The Hilly Hundred” in Bloomington? Maybe that’s something we can think about doing in our schedule of sporting event get togethers! Yeah….you need a break first though…..have fun on Friday!

  7. Congratulations Court!! I’m so proud of you – that you decided to do something this extreme and went thru the paces to accomplish it. Many people would’ve given up without finishing. Many people would not have even done this type of activity just because of the difficulty – but you set your whole body, mind and spirit into doing this 65 miles ride and totally accomplished everything you set out to do!! That’s such a great accomplishment and it does make you realize that you can accomplish more than you think. Set your goals and persevere – what an awesome feeling that can be.

    Good job and I’m so proud of you!!

    Mom
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..Don’t Make Your Pet Have To Take On An Armed Intruder! =-.

  8. Congratulations Courtney – I’m so proud of you – that you decided to do something this extreme and went thru the paces to accomplish it. Many people would’ve given up without finishing. Many people would not have even done this type of activity just because of the difficulty – but you set your whole body, mind and spirit into doing this 65 miles ride and totally accomplished everything you set out to do!! That’s such a great accomplishment and it does make you realize that you can accomplish more than you think. Set your goals and persevere – what an awesome feeling that can be.

    Good job and I’m so proud of you!!

    Mom
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..Don’t Make Your Pet Have To Take On An Armed Intruder! =-.

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