Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Survived the East Bay Century!

It's already Wednesday, and I have been thinking about writing about last weekend, but I keep putting it off. But if I don't do it now, I won't ever do it.

So last Saturday was our East Bay Century ride. 97 miles of pure torture, including about 8,000 feet of climbing. I had been looking forward to this ride, because I like to be challenged, but my body wasn't in the best condition on Saturday. I got sick last Monday, and by Saturday I wasn't feeling too hot. My doctor had given me an inhaler to use because she said I was wheezing a little, but she didn't tell me not to do the ride. So Saturday I woke up after only 4.5 hours of sleep and got ready for the longest ride of my life (not longest in distance, but in time).

The weatherman had said it would be warm and sunny, but for the first 50 miles we were riding in the fog/clouds/ and wind.

Our first 10 miles were spent climbing to the rangers station on Mt. Diablo. It took me about 2 hours, which means I was going slower than 10 miles per hour! I felt so sick and I couldn't breathe well. I used the inhaler, but I kept thinking that maybe I was wearing myself to thin. Maybe I was pushing too hard. I didn't want to push myself to the point of exhaustion and then not be able to continue with my training, but I also didn't want to give up. I was having a huge debate in my head.

Part of me thought it would be best to pull out of the ride, and go home and sleep all weekend, and wait to train until I felt better. But I really didn't want to give up, because it was such a big event, I wanted to do it, and be able to know that I had done a ride that was that hard. At the ranger station I began to cry, because I was sure that I was going to have to quit before the ride was over, because of how I was feeling, and I was really disappointed in myself.

But when I got off Mt. Diablo, Grace caught up to me and we began biking together. We were talking and having fun, and she would wait for me when I had to stop and take my inhaler. She let me draft behind her when I was tired. She even found my street for me!

We had just turned on to Redwood here. I was still considering skipping the Three Bears, or getting sagged in. But the funny thing is, I began to feel  a little better. We were taking it slow, and having fun, and I think I had hacked up most of what had been in my lungs. Not pretty....Grace was super nice to stay with me. I was quite disgusting that day.

And then Tony comes riding up. Actually a lot of people came riding up because they had 2 start times. Slow people started at 6:30 and fast people started at 7:30, so by about mile 45 all the fast people were catching up and passing us. So Tony rides up and chats with us for a while. I complain that I am sick, and then he tells me he is sick too, and describes all the symptoms I have...phlegm, tiredness, sore throat, etc. But the thing was, he wasn't complaining about it, but just telling me because I asked. He was in such a good mood (like I guess he usually is) and then he went on up the mountain in front of us. So then I thought to myself: I am either sick enough that I need to stop now and get sagged in, or I am not that sick, and I can do this, and if I can do it, then I need to stop complaining and feeling sorry for myself.

At that point I decided I was going to do the whole thing. Grace and I were having a really good time, and I didn't want to leave her to do Three Bears by herself, and I was actually feeling a lot better. The sun had come out, and I had made the decision to be happy, and that helped me feel better.

Eddie ended up catching up with us too, and we took on the Three Bears (all six of them). We may have been going slow enough for me to take pictures while we were riding, but we did them all, and then we did Pig Farm Hill, and the Reliez Valley (which is NOT a valley but a big, mean, long hill), and made it back to our start in about 10 hours and 20 minutes.

I was super tired when I was done, but so happy that I had stuck with it. Now I know if I can do that sick, I can totally do an Ironman healthy...that being said. I know it might not have been the best decision to actually stick with the ride. I need to take care of myself and get healthy, so I can continue my training and actually complete this thing. SO I am taking 6 days off of training, Sunday to Friday, and I am going to go to bed early and rest. And hopefully I will be rested enough to start my training again this weekend.

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