Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Centurion at last!

Today started early. 4:50a.m. to be exact. I'm an early bird but even 4:50 is pushing it a little for me!

I began my day w/ oatmeal, my favorite pre-ride meal - had a cliff bar just before getting to the ride and a diet coke (the coke was for after the ride but I forgot my coffee). I was pleased to see that it wasn't pouring down rain and that the forecast was now showing no rain until close to 11:00 or 12:00.

At the start I connected with Leslie - a fellow Sorella with a flair for endurance rides. Nina McKellar called to wish me good luck, Orinthia gave the centurians a hug for luck and another nearby Sorella pinned my number to my jersey. Leslie promised it wouldn't rain since she had actually remembered her raincoat and outfitted her Garmin with a plastic baggie. Before I knew it, we were on our way. The 50-75 centurians stayed together as a pack for the first 10 miles before the group began to string out into little clusters. Leslie and I stayed near the back - my only goal, I joked, was to make it home in time for dinner! Secretly, I was hoping to end up with a 17 average, little to no sunburn and enough energy to drive myself home!

The first 30 miles passed with little significance. We blew past the first stop which had a very cool Roswell bikes maintenance bus for those needing technical assistance. We weaved through Fayette County and made our way into Peachtree City for our first stop. The selection of Lara bars and fruit was a nice treat and all of the volunteers were nice and friendly. The stop was pretty good...until I pulled out of the parking lot to see a cyclist peeing on the porta john. Not in the porta john...ON the porta john. Go figure - I guess he couldn't wait?

The next 20 miles brought a sprinkle of rain, some nice rollers and a hilarious set of mailboxes - one down low marked "mail" and one way up high marked "bills". It gave me a giggle. I got a surprise at the 50 mile SAG stop - my blackberry was in by back pocket and it had chimed to indicate an email so while I was waiting for Lesley to use the porta john (I was so glad she decided not to pee on it!), I decided to check the time and saw that the email was an auto message indicating that Scott, my friend and cycling mentor (ha! that means I text him at random hours with stupid bike related questions...) had made a NICE donation to my campaign! w00t! Over $750.00 dollars raised!!! I grinned - and was happy to be riding, even in the rain.

Somewhere over the next 15 miles I passed Mark, Konnie and Beth completing the metric option. They all seemed happy and strong and we all cheered for each other like we hadn't seen each other in ages!

The next sag stop was manned by none other than McDonough's very own John Cheaves, manager of our local Trek store! Yay for John! I chatted with him for a moment and headed back to the road. Leslie and I only stayed together for another 5 miles or so - at mile 70, we got pretty far apart and the sky opened up and bathed us with rain. I finished the last 30 alone - but had a blast doing it. I didn't experience that "horrible feeling" everyone told me to expect at mile 80 and when I came in 5 hours and 50 minutes after I began, I felt great!

At the finish, I had a couple of adorable surprises waiting - Clint, Julia and Aaron were there to cheer me in. I've got pictures to post later - just imagine my son w/ pom poms and my daughter with those ridiculous hand clapper/noise makers. Clint assures me that not only did Aaron clap as I came in, he also clapped for every other passing cyclist, car and bird that went by!

I've gotta give a shout out to the Palmetto Police Department. Just before approaching Palmetto Elementary, there's a big ugly hill. It probably really isn't very big but at mile 90, it seemed pretty big! As I climbed my way up, I could sense a car behind me. I stuck my hand out and waived the car around. Seconds later a loud speaker came on and said "I know, I know. Just keep pumping - you're doing great!" When I topped the hill, Mr. Palmetto Police office said "Good job" and came around us give us 3 feet of space as he cruised by! I can't tell you how great it feels to be supported by the local law enforcement, especially after the Stone Mountain Park debacle.

Again, I owe a HUGE thank you to all of you who were so supportive of my fundraising and training efforts. I love riding more than I can express and this was a wonderful opportunity for me to support a great cause while taking part in something I am so passionate about. Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for helping me be part of something so wonderful!

1 comment:

  1. Always good to read your posts. You have a knack girl. Glad you made it back safe and sound. Good for you! KB