Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tour de Cure = Completed!

I did it - 40 miles biked in the Tour de Cure!  What an experience!

I treated last night like any other pre-race eve (which has come to be like my Christmas eve) and carb loaded, hydrated, and made sure I had all my gear ready to go.

a bit more gear than for a running race!

My alarm went off far too early this morning, but I was excited and ready to get going.  Our team jerseys made the outfit choice super easy, so I was ready in about 7 minutes flat.  A new record.

Brie's dad picked us up and we all headed over to RIT where the ride started.  Some of our team were doing the metric century and century rides, so we got there early enough to take a team picture and see them off for their ride.

Brie's Buddies!

100 and 63 milers about to start

I was surprised at how un-nervous I was, especially considering my lack of training and the fact that I've only ridden 20 miles on my new bike.  I was too excited at everything going on to be nervous!  Pictures are always a good distraction from nerves.

me and brie!

thumbs up and ready to ride!

My nerves didn't kick in until we were at the start line getting ready to head out.  It was then that it hit me that after only a handful of "training" rides and one 20 miler on my new bike, I was setting out to tackle 40.  What have I gotten myself in to?

at the start line ready to go

just hangin out with some bikers
My nerves got the best of my about 30 seconds later when I struggled to get my feet in my cages; I was so flustered and couldn't get my feet in and almost fell off my bike and took 4 people out with me.  Awesome start to the ride.

Once I regained my composure I was good to go.  I stuck with Brie and her dad for the first few miles and just took everything in.  There were some killer hills the first few miles and I was silently cursing thanking Becca for making me do hills on our ride the other day.

There was a rest stop at mile 9 and even though I didn't feel like I needed to stop, I did and filled up my water bottles and waited for Brie and her dad.  I headed off before them so I was on my own for this part of the ride.

I got the brilliant idea to play my itunes on my phone which was in my jersey pocket.  Lucky for me I still had my awesome half marathon playlist on there so I started jammin out to some great tunes.  Lady Gaga, Drake and Sugarland did a fantastic job at keeping me company.

At mile 21 there was another rest stop; I stopped to refill my bottles and had half of a PBJ sandwich which tasted amazing.  I also ran into Alyssa from my half marathon training class who was also riding the 40!

hfm does the tdc!
We chatted for a couple minutes and then headed off for the second half of the ride.  I was surprised at how good I was feeling at the halfway point and was excited for the last half.  

My one fear I had coming into the ride was that I would be wishing it was over and not take the time to enjoy the ride.  I had coach Becca's voice in the back of my head reminding me to enjoy the experience and I was surprised at how easily I was able to do that.  Even when I looked at my Garmin and saw 19 more miles to go, I was happy to be out there and still going and enjoying every second of it.

About 6 miles from the end, Brie and her dad (who rode the 25 mile ride) ran into me in their car (not literally) so I stopped for a minute to get a cold water bottle and douse myself in some ice (it was HOT... 85+ degrees and humid).  Brie was a great photographer and got some action shots:

perfecting my action pose
thumbs up to feeling awesome at mile 34!

There were a couple more hills to tackle in the last few miles and I was surprised at my ease in taking them on.... I was actually having fun with it.  Who would have thought that a 700+ foot elevation gain ride would be so much fun for me?!  On the last crazy hill, one of the hardcore cyclists who passed me told me I was doing great and told me to "make this hill your bitch!"  Damn straight.

elevation map - i made you my bitch.

I made a friend during the last few miles who said he loved my music.  He was 58 years old and I could tell you 90% of his life story.  Man was a talker.  Who knew you could learn so much about someone in 7 minutes?  Thanks for riding with me kind sir, you were quite entertaining.

Riding through the finish line was an awesome feeling - I did it!  And not only did I complete it, I had fun, enjoyed the ride, and felt WAY better than I expected to.  I honestly felt like I could have kept riding - I didn't want to stop!

I forgot to start my garmin when I started (shocker) so I'm a liiiitle ocd anal that it doesn't say 40... but I promise that I really did ride 40 miles!!  I also didn't stop the time at the rest stops, which was about 30 minutes total, so my total riding time was probably just under 3 hours.  Crazy!

40 miles - check! 
brie's mom is the cutest.
After cheering in the 63 & 100 milers, it was time for the second best part of the day aside from the ride - refueling aka eating everything.  I found Becca after she finished the 100 (no big deal) and told her that she was in my head on repeat the whole ride.  Coach Becca for the win.

running/biking/life coach

No first Tour de Cure would be complete without the obligatory picture with the start/finish line in the background:

me and brie!
At last year's Tour de Cure, Brie and I joked that we'd be riding in the 2012 tour... little did we know that we would actually follow through on that!

The whole day was awesome and it was great having the team to cheer for/cheer you on.  I'm proud of myself for relaxing enough to enjoy the ride and have fun and complete the whole thing!  If I can do 40 miles on non-existent training, what else can I do?!  I never cease to amaze myself what I am actually capable of when I put my mind to it.  Maybe Definitely next year I will be joining my other teammates on the 100 mile ride!  Watch out Tour de Cure 2013!

Brie's Buddies post race - what an awesome team!
Thank you to everyone who donated to my ride, supported for me and cheered me on, and helped make today such an awesome day!!!

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to train with you for next year :) it'll be a cinch. Once you get past 50 you know youre headed home - and it feels good, even if it is another 50 away!

    So proud!!