Greetings and salutations blog readers. It just occurred to me that if you don't follow me on Twitter and are not my Facebook friend you might not know that I am alive. Well, I am. It is with great pleasure that I announced that I did, in fact, bike every single one of those one hundred and fifty miles in the MS150. Spelling out one hundred and fifty lends some gravity to the accomplishment, don't you think? Read it again with me...one hundred and fifty. I'll be honest - I struggled. How did I struggle? Here are my thoughts...leg by leg... Day 1
Leg 1: Rain and hills. Wow - I really hit the biking jackpot, didn't I?
Leg 2: This is much harder than I thought it would be. This was a very bad idea. Whose idea was this? I demand to know!
Leg 3: The ratio of the times I've heard "passing on your left" to the times I've said "passing on your left" is 100:1. Every time I hear those words, my heart blackens a tiny bit more. I am a Pavlovian Grinch.
Lunch Stop: Hooray! I got my period! I'll feel so much better biking now.
Leg 4: Some people are not meant to be long distance bikers. I am one of those people.
Leg 5: My friends report seeing beautiful fields of lupine while on the trail. I only saw my life pass before my eyes.
Finish line: Oh my god. I have to get up tomorrow and do this all over again. I want to go home.
Leg 1: Hell yeah! That was awesome. Easiest 15 miles I've biked yet this weekend! I'm going to finish this damn ride! Wahoo!
Leg 2: Look at those cool airplanes! Look at the gorgeous farmland! Everything is so green and beautiful!
Leg 3: It's starting to get hot. I don't like the heat. That same annoying woman from yesterday just passed me chanting, "You're a ROCKSTAR! R-O-C-K-S-T-A-R, ROCKSTAR - that's you!" If I could catch her, I'd beat her senseless with my bike pump.
Lunch stop: We are almost done with this! Only two more legs and the last one is only 9 miles. Piece of cake!
Leg 4: Oh my god! Who filled my legs with concrete while I was having lunch? Also...I'm in pain in very private places. I may never be the same. All this biking has done damage that birthin' two babies never did.
Leg 5: This is it! The final leg. I should be euphoric! Maybe I am if by "euphoric" I mean hot, exhausted and crampy. Also...they lied - it's 11 miles not 9. That's cruel.
Last mile: How long can a fucking mile really be? I've been biking the last mile for what seems like an hour! I can't do this...oh wait, I see the finish line! There it is...just a bit ahead...still just a bit ahead...still...okay - this is getting ridiculous! Almost there...yes! I made it!
My friends were awesome and supportive and kind and I thank them for hanging in there with me. They really are the best people - I am so lucky to have them around me all the time...not just when doing crazy stuff. I also want to thank Luisa for meeting me at the finish line which was not part of our original plan since it involved dragging the children out to a field somewhere in Anoka. She did it though and she schlepped my bags for me and got me water and then loaded me up in the car and took me to the McDonald's drive-thru for a big Diet Coke.
I did this ride for a lot of reasons but one of them was to erase the memory of the ride I did in 1995. I wanted to prove to myself that I had grown as a person and I did that. As hard as it was for me mentally and physically, I never lashed out at those around me. I had done the 150 miles before but this time...this time I did it with a bit more dignity. It doesn't sound like much but it matters...to me, at least.
Oh...and mark my words...I will never do this again. Never. Write that down.