Upon arrival, I pick up my registration packet, make my numerous pre-event trips to the fabulous port-o-lets and consume some additional calories all while husband unloads my bike. The temps are a tad nippy, but we all know within less than an hour from the ride start, we will all be glad to wearing as less as possible, within reason of course. This is a family friendly event.
I head over to the start line to meet up with cousin one, cousin two and uncle, who are also riding. Less than 10 minutes later and no warning, the ride begins. Only 160 miles more to go, woo hoo! No one's ever claimed I was sane.
|Oh Look! ONLY 160 miles to go!|
My goal was to make as few stops as possible, fuel and hydrate better than previous years (a big issue for me as don't eat very well while being extremely active), and for those necessary stops, make them as short as possible, in and out. By mile 38 and my first scheduled rest stop, I had so far succeeded. I grabbed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, drank as much Gatorade G2 as possible while husband refilled the other bottle and moved on my merry way.
I needed to utilize the oh-so fabulous port-o-lets while at the first rest stop, but the lines were long and I didn't want to lose unnecessary time waiting, so I informed my husband I would stop at the next gas station or fast food stop on the same side of the road. He could meet me there.
As I headed back onto the road, I could not get my left shoe clipped in for nothing. At first I thought I just wasn't sitting it in there right until after one million attempts, I was convinced that obviously I was having a mechanical failure. I did not want to stop and lose time, so I kept pedaling one shoe clipped and the other annoyingly at his own free will until I could no longer tolerate his insubordinate self.
I figured as hilly as this ride is, my detached shoe was only causing more inefficient riding, therefore; losing more time and energy than I would have lost in the moments to call in Personal Support Vehicle a.k.a. husband to make any necessary repairs. Sure enough, when I pulled over to look at the bottom of my shoe, I found the flat metal plate under my cleat had curled up, disabling my clipping ability. Super husband fixed it in a jiffy and I was on my way.
By the way, prior to me pulled over to get my shoe fixed, husband had text me to let me know that the public restroom I was looking for in the near future, did not exist. Long story short, my restroom break did not happen until 63 miles, 25 miles since my last stop. Lesson learned.
|Sixty-three miles into my ride |
at the 2nd rest stop.
I made sure that rest stop number 2 was just as quick as stop one, other than I was sure to make one other stop. I'm sure you know which one. As before, I grabbed another peanut butter and jelly, drank my Gatorade G2 nonstop while husband refilled my other bottle. I was most likely back on the road within seven-ten minutes, much better than previous year's times.
As I log some more miles, I pay more attention to the time and my mileage and realize that regardless of fewer stops and less time spent at the rest stops, I'm about the same time and location I was last year if not farther behind. I had noticed that this year's hills seemed much harder than previous years. I then realize with other rider's comments and my own Ah Ha moment, we've been riding with a ferocious head wind.
|Eighty-two miles into the ride when I had|
my husband pick me up.
I instantaneously had this overwhelming and uneasy feeling that I couldn't shake. Most likely it was guilt. Knowing that it is not only extremely important to my husband to participate in his family's social events, but to have his immediate family with him at that time, I made a quick decision to call my husband and have him get me along the ride route. He should have not been put in the situation to choose between one of my numerous events and his family.
When I called husband to be picked up, his first question was of course, what's wrong. As I repeatedly told him nothing, I'm fine, just come and get me and I'll explain when you pick me up. Of course, when he picks me up, I tell him the reason for my decision. He continues to question my motive since in his words, "You quit nothing." and "You don't quit." and "You never quit anything." Yes dear, I get it. I don't quit. As they say, "There is always a first time for everything.".
My ride home to grab a quick shower so that I could head over to my husband's family reunion, consisted of an interrogation of what's the real reason you quit? I understand his suspicions considering he knows I literally limped and wobbled in the last 2 1/2 miles of a seven mile race back in the frigid temps of February after my knee blew in excruciating pain out of nowhere, when I could have just as easily called him from the cell phone I was carrying , while he was waiting for me at the finish line, to pick me up. He also knows that after I hit the wall after mile 20 in the Flying Pig marathon in May, I continued the race even though my hands felt as though they had incurred frost bite, it was raining and it took me over 5 and half hours to cross the finish line.
So, he's right. I don't quit, except for when it doesn't align with what should be a priority, family. He told me his brother and mom were aware I was riding that day and should not have been completed until later in the evening. What should he tell them? I just laughed. I knew what he was implying; that maybe I would be embarrassed by others knowing that I quit the ride.
I told dear husband to tell them whatever HE wanted to tell them. I had just finished over 80 miles in horrendous headwinds, a feat that most people do not complete over their entire lives, let alone the last so many hours. I was not embarrassed or ashamed. I quit because I realized my priorities needed to be adjusted. As they say, "Better late than never."
For this same reason, family first, I have chosen to complete the sprint distance triathlon on my 40th birthday this year, versus the Olympic distance. My children are getting older, have jobs, one of them is involved in athletics, two of them are in college, therefore; getting the entire family together all at once for an entire day is an amazing feat in itself. With that being said, I want to take advantage of the day spending as much time as possible with my family before one of them moves out on me this next semester (unless I lock her in her bedroom and deadbolt the door-bwahaahahaaa). Just kidding....maybe!
Swimming an extra 1000 meters, running an extra 3 miles and biking an extra 12 miles will never be worth the lost opportunity to hang out with these beautiful people.
It will R.A.I.N. next year. It has for the last 27 years.
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