Not once did I suffer during the ride. There were aid stations every 15 miles, give or take, and each one had super supportive volunteers handing out a variety of snacks. There were bagels spread with PB or jelly, energy bars, gels, gatorade, water and lots of bananas. I think I ate four or five during the ride and that's not including the one at breakfast with my oat bran at 5am. Having a few minutes to get off the bike did wonders for my feet, saddle and spirit. Each volunteer was cheerful and light hearted. It went a long way on a long day. Thanks volunteers, your presence was fully appreciated.
My expectations prior to the ride were that I would meet some folks either before the ride or during that I could ride with for a significant time. Though I did ride a few miles with a single rider or a small group here and there. Overall it was mostly a solo effort. Which wasn't so bad because of rest stops and the glorious weather. I found myself thinking about all sorts of random thoughts. Normally during a race, I'm tuned into listening to my body. This time, images of my family kept popping into my head. Without them this wouldn't have been possible. They supported me last summer in Boulder at my first half-ironman. It was 98 degrees out there. To this day I have never felt so terrible while running (I ran a 2:30 half-marathon, when my PB is 1:33, yeah, it was bad), but knowing my parents, sister, and Denver cousins were out there cheering, gave me the motivation to push back my pain and finish what I started. Thanks Pops for the work ethic. Once I get started, it's hard to stop. Getting started is another thing.
This isn't much of a report, I just felt like babbling I guess. Back to the subject at hand. I ended up finishing in a little over 6 hours 15 minutes. Which was on the fast end of my predictions before the ride. Though my computer later told me it was 5 hours 37 minutes of moving time. Did I really stop to talk that much? I have been known to hold a good conversation. Overall it was really fun and I'll think about doing it again. A group effort would be a lot of fun. I kept seeing all these bike clubs and I have to admit I was a tad jealous. Maybe that can be motivation to join a team or two.
Well being Friday evening, I might as well pack my wetsuit up and go get my first outdoor swim of the year in. So what if it's raining, I'll already be wet. Plus I'm going to drive there. Ooooooh. Good luck to all those this weekend at their first race of the year.