Like lots of races I have signed up for, this one was no different. It’ll be fun they said! A 12-mile Mountain Bike race on Friday, a 100-mile Road Bike race on Saturday, and a Half Marathon Trail race on Sunday all in blazing hot Summer weather.
I was terribly stressed out about the mountain bike race. I had not trained. The last time I rode my mountain bike was last year. I had taken a spill and after getting over that I was just too busy doing other things to ride.
My husband and I went on vacation to the beach back in July. We took our road bikes with us and rode about 15 miles up and down the beach in the heat. After that we rode a couple more 15 mile rides and a 50 mile ride. That about summed up our road bike training.
Fortunately, we have some great friends that have been cycling for a long time and got us up to speed pretty quick on cycling etiquette and how to draft and ride in a group. They also gave us the confidence we needed to think we might actually be able to ride 100 miles in one shot.
I knew the half marathon trail race was not going to be a problem. I am not a fast runner, but I am a finisher and I had no doubt I would finish within the 4 hour time limit. Running was the one thing I had really trained for.
At 2:42 p.m. I found myself on the start line stressed out so bad I could hardly breathe. I was in the very back with all of the 40 and over females. My friend Leah told me to just go have fun and walk when I felt like it. Her words finally sunk in and I started calming down especially after talking to the other women around me who were all saying this was their first time too and they planned on doing a lot of walking. There was also Shelli who told me to stick with her and we would get through this together.
The first 6 or 7 miles were slow going mostly because it was a single track trail and lots of people were walking their bikes through the obstacles. I really started wondering what the heck I was so stressed out about after I passed a few people who had pulled to the side to let us go on by. I got so comfortable that I was flying down hills so fast I had enough momentum to get up the next steep uphill. I was riding across board bridges and taking chances that made me feel like a bad ass. That was until I got to 11 miles when I clipped a tree. I flew like Superman over the handlebars and landed hard.
My first thought was I didn’t hear any cracks or pops or feel anything snap so surely nothing was broken. I did feel my arm just in case there might be a bone poking out. I just had a little scrape and what would later turn into a giant goose egg. From my last experience with crashing, I knew I had to dust myself off, get back on my bike and finish. The longer I waited the worse I was going to hurt.
It was still a great ride and I have no idea what I was so stressed out about. I just knew I was going to come in last, but I actually came in ahead of several people. My finish time was 2:42:55.62.