Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Goldilocks Century Bike Race

 Last summer my friend Katrina got a bike for Mother's Day. She told me she wanted to start biking with me and wanted to do a bike race by the end of summer. I had done Goldilocks 100 mile race in May of 2014 and had a good experience with them. They had changed the time of year they did it to September (since it had rained four years straight in May), and you can choose 20, 40, 60, 80, or 100 mile race. So we decided to sign up for that. I chose the 100 mile again and she decided to do the 40 miler. We trained all summer, but come about August Kat didn't feel ready and BAILED on me! That's right, she decided not to do it. It's okay though, we wouldn't have seen each other much anyway since the courses are different.

But I was still a little bummed to be on my own. I didn't really feel ready to bike 100 miles (the most I got up to during training was 35 miles during the month before the race), and it's just easier knowing there is someone there with you.

I was all prepared hte night before with all of my "stuff".

I think this race is cursed. It has to be. They changed it to September to avoid the rain, and whaddya know? It was forecasted to be pouring at race time, even though the day before and after were beautiful and sunny. I was so not looking forward to biking in the rain. But I put my big girl biker shorts on (and another layer over them, haha) and got out in that rain and into the starting chute. ANdy had driven me down to the starting line at 6:30 AM. The race started at 7. It was still dark-ish and freezing cold. I was pretty soaked within the first 10 miles.

There is a stop every 20ish miles. Every time I hit a rest stop, I would tell myself that if I didn't feel up to going on, I could always call and get a Papa Bear (race volunteer) to come pick me up. However, being that this race was in September (Childhood Cancer Awareness Month) I told myself I was doing it in honor of that, in honor of my Maggie. How could I just give up when kids with childhood cancer don't have that choice? I would eat snacks, massage my aching feet (they were literally white-- no blood flow. So incredibly frozen), fill up my water, and hop back on that bike and just keep biking. Even though it was freezing, it was very beautiful.
Look at all that gold-- Childhood Cancer Color!

Utah Lake

Miles 1-40 were not bad at all difficulty wise. Besides being soaked, I did well on my time.

However, I am convinced that miles 40-60 are what hell looks like. It was awful. It was all uphill through a canyon and just so hard. Nobody in sight. Twisty, curvy roads, and ugly rock surrounding me on all sides. It was horrible. When I finally broke out of it onto the flat space, I was so relieved.

Miles 60-80 were all downhill and just awesome. That is the Payson temple on the far left mid-picture.

Love me some downhill flying!

Mile 80 was the lunch stop. I couldn't believe I still had 20 miles to go. I wanted to cry! But lunch was delicious and while I know it probably wasn't the best choice, I drank a whole can of diet coke. Mmmmmmm.

There was another rest stop at mile 90 that I figured I would stop and take a small break at, but I missed it somehow and was so discouraged when I thought I hadn't come to it yet.... only to find out that I only had about 8 miles to go when Andy drove up with Magnus hanging out the window cheering his guts out for me! I literally burst into tears. I don't know what it is about doing something so incredibly and physically taxing, that when you are nearing completion. and then you see someone cheering you on that you love and adore, why it makes the emotions flood out. But it does. I was so thankful for him. It had warmed up and I was so thankful to give him a bunch of extra stuff I'd been wearing. He gave me a kiss, slapped me on the bum, and told me he would see me at the finish line. I thought for a split second of hopping in the car with him, but then I saw that Maggie boy and remembered why I was doing this. No one would know if I finished, but I would know. And I wanted to do it for him. 

Those last 5 miles dragged and dragged. My back was on fire, my bum was so sore, my legs were chafed, and my triceps were burning. I couldn't believe I was this close. It felt so far away. When I came up to the finish line, I literally yelled out in relief. I had been riding next to another girl for the last 10 miles or so and when I sped up, she graciously slowed down and let me have my finish. So nice of her.
This picture gets me every time. Oh, I love that boy.

Done! 102 miles, to be exact,
Take THAT, Childhood Cancer! I'll run you over!

Funny side story-- I picked up Katrina's packet for her so she would get her free SWAG and I put on the stickers and tags on my helmet and bike. When I rode in, they said over the loud speaker, "And here comes Katrina Heath, crossing the finish line!' I burst out laughing when I realized I hadn't even checked the packets, I had just put one of them on and it happened to be her numbers. So funny. 

I was so thankful for all of the support form Andy. He always supported me on my long rides, encouraged me to do my best, and he never complains when I sign up for races, even though it takes a significant amount of time away from our family when I am training. I love him.

Second century, done! I don't know if there will ever be another one. I officially retired my bike and haven't ridden it since. It is a pretty cheap hybrid and while it was great for the 3 years I used it, I have ridden the crap out of it and I really want a nice bike. We will see if that ever happens.

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