Sunday, June 30, 2013

Getting Back in the Groove

Walter texted me while we were on vacation (which you can read more about here) and asked about a Saturday ride.  I told him I couldn't because we'd be on our way home from Branson, but that Sunday would be OK.  What better way to try to get myself back in the groove!

Woke up at 6:30 this morning and it was only 64°.  Holy cow!  After all the triple digit heat, a cool front had moved through and had me trying to decide what to wear.  I went with a long sleeve tee under my short sleeve jersey and shorts on the bottom.  It wasn't really necessary, but I wasn't particularly hot either.  We headed out at 7 AM and repeated nearly the same ride as last week - touring around  Jefferson City for 22.3 miles.  We hit some stoplights and paused a couple times to grab a drink.  With all the hills, our speed wasn't stellar (though I broke the speed limit on the last screaming downhill) .  I struggled more than I should have the first half, but felt better the back half.

Not much planned for the rest of the day.  Should try to get a little work done, but a nap sounds good too.

Swimming = 14,970 yds = 8.5 mi
Biking = 886.0 miles
Running = 111.1 miles

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Back From Vacation

It has been one long week stuffed full of family fun, but we are home.  And soon it will be time to get back to work.  Our son will sleep in his own bed for the first time in over two weeks since our family vacation started about 3 hours after he got home from a week at Boy Scout camp.  I'm mostly glad to be able to take a shower in my own bathroom with good water pressure (our condo made some hotel showers seem great).

Last Saturday (6/22),I got up pretty early and rode my bike all around Jeff City with Walter before packing up.   Nice to get in 23 miles before vacation started.  We drove to Branson in the afternoon - making good time even with some traffic on the way into town.  We unpacked at the condo we rented for the week (great deal - $700 for 7 nights of 1200 sq ft 2 BR/2 B, full kitchen, laundry, etc with a pool across the parking lot).  My son got his own room, my daughter opted for the pull out couch and my husband and I got the master.  There were 3 TV's with cable - something we've not had for over a year so I think it was a bit of a treat.  This was my kids within minutes of unpacking:

Then we went out for pizza and breadsticks down the road.  It was a pretty half-ass version of a Pizza Hut, but we were all hungry so it was fine.  When we got back, the kids went up to the pool while I looked up some information on some of the things we planned to do for the week.  I walked over to check on them:

A moment where they weren't fighting - must have documentation!
Sunday (6/23) - got up and ate breakfast at the condo and headed down to Branson Landing (shopping area right on Lake Taneycomo).  Browsed around some of the shops and then headed to Springfield.  We caught the end of a tailgate our bank was sponsoring for Jeff City day at the Springfield Cardinals ballgame and had a quick hot dog lunch.  Then we went to the ballgame - and roasted in the sun in our seats.  We had gotten good tickets from the bank ($10 each just up from first base), but it was very hot.  We sat there about half the game, but then hid out in the shade near the concessions to watch the rest of the win.  We drank so much water (at $6/bottle). 

Family by the Branson Landing fountains (Lake Taneycomo just past the railing)

Thumbs up for good seats - not for the heat though

Daughter with "Louie" the Springfield Cardinal
Then we went to Bass Pro (the ORIGINAL one - big one!).  My daughter picked up a hat and my husband purchased a rifle he'd been itching for.  We headed back to Branson and stopped at Bob Evans for a nice dinner.  And my daughter went for a quick swim.

Monday (6/24) - breakfast at the condo again and then off to go zip lining!  I picked up a Groupon for all for of us to hit six lines at Indian Point.  We were led by two young men that were kind of ornery, but fun and took good care of all of us.  It was funny to see my 70 lb daughter jump off the platform and barely wiggle the line while the rest of us really added some sag.  We went back to the condo for a quick lunch and then the boys headed to the Veterans Memorial Museum while the girls hit the Tanger Outlets.  My daughter scored a lot of new clothes, I got a couple of things and a new duffle from Eddie Bauer.  We went to dinner at a Mexican joint and then we went swimming again.


Tuesday (6/25) - we headed for Tablerock State Park lakeside trail.  It was 2.2 miles from the visitor center to the marina on a mostly flat paved trail.  But the kids whined some which made it less fun.  They did love watching the "Ducks" launch (amphibious tour vehicles).  We had water and snacks, but the kids made it a long 4.4 miles.  My daughter and I ran a little bit on the way back though.  I think she liked the idea of being done sooner.  It was pretty hot, but the trail had a fair amount of shade which made it pretty doable.  Then we headed over to Moonshine Beach so I could get in a quick open water swim.  It was windy and I didn't enjoy the waves in my face.  But I got in a 0.3 mile swim.

Quick selfie with my girl at the half way point
After lunch at the condo, we hung out watching some TV and headed out for dinner at the Burger Shack.  They had fresh cut fries and the best super greasy burgers with all sorts of stuff you could put on them.  We headed up to a mini-golf place I had gotten a Groupon for, but then found out when we got there it was only good 10-5.  Ugh.  There was some more pool time after we got back.

Wednesday (6/26) - we took an hour trail ride (horses) through the Ozark hills and through Bear Creek.  There was a fair bit of shade on the trail.  We went to McDonalds for lunch and then back to the condo for a short break before going to an afternoon show at the Clay Cooper Theatre.  We saw Buckets and Boards - a mixture of percussion, song, tap dance, and comedy.  Matt and Gareth are a bit silly, but talented and put on a great show.  As we hit triple digit temps and high humidity - it was great to hide out in the cool theatre.  We headed to the Great American Chicken and Steakhouse (giant chicken out front) for dinner.  Food and service wasn't that great, but they had amazing cornbread.  I think there was some more pool time later.


Thursday (6/27) - we splurged on breakfast at the Belgian Waffle House though chose to skip the waffles that were listed as "served at room temperature" - eww.  Then we went to the Titanic Museum.  It was pretty interesting to see some of the artifacts and learn a bit more about the ship and its fateful journey.  I think the kids were slightly less impressed by it, but didn't complain either.  We had a quick lunch at the condo and changed into our swim gear to spend the afternoon at White Water.  We did all the water park things - slides, lazy river, wave pool, etc.  Dairy Queen for dinner.  I think my daughter hit the pool again.

Friday (6/28) - headed back to the mini-golf place and played 36 holes with a soda break in between the two courses.  Lunch back at the condo and then my friend Mary came by.  We visited for a bit and then packed up to head to the marina.  We rented a pontoon boat and ski tube for four hours.  The kids had a blast riding the tube, jumping off some rock outcropping, swimming around the boat and riding around Tablerock Lake.  It was pretty windy which made the swimming kind of tough.  I am quite sore from the swimming I did.  My watch only recorded about 450 yards of swimming, but I only turned it on for part of the time.  We turned the boat in and then went back to change our clothes and walked next door to a great Italian restaurant - probably the best meal we had all week.  Mary headed back home and we began running some laundry and packing up.
The only hole in one - go mom!

Son doing a cannonball off the bluff

Daughter jumping off the rocks
This morning our vacation came to a close as we had to be gone by ten.  We pulled out about 9:40 and got home in just under 3 hours.  It was a great break from our everyday life, but I have a ton of work to wade through this week and my husband goes back to teaching after the 4th.  We tried to squeeze in all the things everyone wanted to do.  I was glad that I managed to find a few opportunities to be active and offset some of the poorer food choices.




Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Just Suck

It really wasn't that bad out.  Low 80's, mostly sunny, a light breeze - even if a bit humid (par for the course this time of year).  And I have had a bit of trouble with allergies lately - itchy eyes, scratchy throat, phlegm, etc.  Not sure if it is the cottonwood I'm allergic to or something that blooms at the same time as the cottonwood dropping seed like snow all over the mid-MO area.  And maybe I should have drank a bit more water throughout the day.  But really - I think I just suck at running.

After a bit of laziness throughout the day (in the a/c to boot), I decided I'd get in a short run while my daughter had softball practice.  I let a couple folks know I was going to do it and invited them to join me for 3-4 easy miles (for them since my pace is slow).  No one took me up on the offer though - so I headed out with only my music to keep me company.

I walked/jogged from the practice ball fields over towards the commuter lot, down the greenway trail spur and stopped breathless at the Katy Trail parking lot.  I sat down in the shade for a couple minutes, got a drink at the drinking fountain and toyed with the idea of trying to go to the bathroom as my guts felt all twisted up.  I decided to head out down the trail.  I started to do a bigger loop, but my pace was quickly looking worse so I just did an out and back.  I was having to walk a lot as I felt crappy.  I sat down again when I got back to the parking lot and got another drink.  Then headed back towards the commuter lot and stopped at the pavilion to pee and get another drink.  I finally got back to the practice field for a lousy 3.7 miles.  I'll chalk it up to "better than nothing", but the average pace is shameful.

I know the only way to get better at running is to do more of it, but it is by far my least favorite sport of the three.  I just wish it would get easier. 

Swimming = 13,950 yds = 7.9 mi
Biking = 841.4 miles
Running = 106.8 miles

Monday, June 17, 2013

Me and My Watch

I've continued to struggle with overall motivation lately.  Wed, Thur, Fri, and Sat passed without me getting off the couch.  What the heck is up with that?  With my husband and son leaving for Scout camp early on Sunday morning, I knew it was my last chance for a few days to get with it so I drug my butt out of bed and went out for an hour on my bike.   My Garmin wouldn't turn on and I figured the battery was dead.  So I took it off and headed out with nothing, but the clock on my phone.

It wasn't too terribly hot (mid-70's), but was pretty humid.  Thankfully, the sun wasn't completely out.  But mid-way through the first climb, I thought I was going to hurl.  I stopped and caught my breath, got a drink and then granny geared my way up the rest of the hill.  I just felt like crap.  I kept my pace very slow and cranked my way out to the Taos interchange.  I swung through the gas station parking lot to turn around (this was the only time I dodged any cars - gotta love quiet Sunday mornings).  I was already 30 minutes in and I wanted to get back in time to kiss the boys goodbye so I headed home.  The big hill just before home wasn't as miserable.

Mapped my ride and it was just shy of 11.7 miles.  Pretty sad for taking me an entire hour.  Ugh.  Maybe it was a good thing I didn't get to look at my heart rate, speed, etc data.   I went to charge the watch and it said it was only at 50%.  It later turned on fine so I'm not sure what was wrong.

Today, my daughter and I overslept - forgetting about her tennis lesson.  Oops.  Then we kind of chilled in the morning and went out for lunch.  We headed to Columbia so I could work a bit and then we went to the ARC for some swimming.  She entertained herself for the first hour while I knocked out 2550 yards (I think - watch said 2525, but I did 50 yd laps).  Then I got a drink and played with her for another hour - swimming all over so I am ok with rounding up if the Garmin overestimated.

Mike asked me the other day how I am liking my Garmin 910XT.  Except for the other day when it didn't start for some random reason, I have LOVED it.  It does everything I expected (though I haven't tried everything out).  It helps me track everything and totally feeds my data nerd self.  I like looking through all the  heart rate, speed, pace, maps, SWOLF, etc info.  It was definitely a bit of a splurge - a "want" versus a "need", but I'm enjoying the heck out of it.  I think I will buy the speed/cadence sensor for my bike soon.  I think it would add another interesting metric and be very useful when I put the bike back on the trainer in the winter.  Now if it just had a feature where it kicked me out the door!

Swimming = 13,950 yds = 7.9 mi
Biking = 841.4 miles
Running = 103.1 miles

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Back At It - Swim/Run

I spent part of the morning at a memorial service for a lovely woman that I was blessed to know the last 15 years through my Society of Women Engineers section.  It always amazes me how we can know only a part of someone and then only at sad times like these, learn they were so much more than we knew.  It was nice to visit with some of the other SWE gals after the service.  Then back to the office for a couple hours before stopping in at the LBS to pick up another tube and levers (mine broke at the Tour) on my way to the pool.

It was time to try out my Garmin 910XT in the water!  I set up the pool settings this morning.  I got to the pool a little later than I intended so I only had about 30 min.  But I managed to get in 1400 yards.  A few stutters on my stroke when I got a little water in my nose and throat had the Garmin thinking I was backstroking.  LOL  Not a great pace, but not bad for not having even seen a pool since TriZou.

Got home just in time to change clothes and head out for my daughter's piano lesson and softball practice.  Summer decided to show up today - it was in the mid-90's.  I knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge to get running, but decided to go for it.  Started out pretty decent, but pretty soon I realized that my bladder was kind of full and the heat was much more oppressive than I had realized.  I caught a little shade as I climbed the ramps to the ped bridge over the Missouri River, but my heart rate was super high as I headed into town.  I did stop for a second to snap this shot from the bridge:

By the time I turned around, I was very uncomfortable on both the heat and bladder fronts.  I ended up walking a lot of the way back.  Even walking I was running a heart rate of 180+.  I've rarely worked so hard for 3.1 miles.  Got back to my car and headed over to the North JC pavilion to use the bathroom.  Got back and sat in the shade chugging water.  Thankfully, the coaches decided to cut the practice a little short as the girls were struggling to hustle in the heat.

I guess tomorrow I'll try to get my tire fixed so I can get in a bike ride at some point.

Swimming = 11400yds = 6.5 mi
Biking = 829.7 miles
Running = 103.1 miles

Monday, June 10, 2013

Long Shadows and Flat Tires

I've been having some trouble getting motivated this week.  I always seem to have a little trouble in this department when a "big event" is behind me.  I seem to lack some focus when I don't have a BIG goal ahead of me.  Kind of makes me think I should just get off my ass and sign up for the Oly I've been eyeing.  Might be the only thing to make me get with it.

Saturday was a lovely day.  We hiked around a bit at the nature center in the morning as we listened to what our kids learned at camp all week.  Laundry (and some procrastinating) took up most of the afternoon, but I decided to get with it and run my deposit to the bank.  Always nice when clients pay me and even better when it is a good excuse for a 5K.

Sunday was nice too - a little warmer with a bit of wind, but stupid not to go out for the bike ride I had been procrastinating.  Except that I puttered around the house and took a long afternoon nap and then just never got off the couch.  My husband scolded me for letting the opportunity go by. 

This afternoon was also nice and I felt another taste of shame as I almost let it go by.  But as the shadows got long, the wind was non-existent and I decided that I would get on the bike and knock out a short ride before heading to the grocery store.  It started out a little slow, but I was just feeling warmed up when I climbed up the interchange and heard that dreadful sound again.  UGH!!  I had already done another loop and climb of the interchange so I got in 7.6 miles, but I didn't even have the stuff with me to fix the flat (as if I had any real clue how to do that - yes, I know - shame, shame).  Thankfully, my husband had just finished bringing in hay with the neighbors and was a mere 3 miles away with his handy truck.  I walked down the hill towards home thinking I was glad that I didn't have to walk all the way home in bike shoes (though it was totally doable if necessary).

Frustrating that I rode all those training miles without a flat and now I've had two in the last 50-60 miles.  But such is life, right?  I have a funeral in Columbia tomorrow morning and will work for a while at the office up there.  But I also think I'll try to sneak over to the pool and try out the swim features on my 910xt.  And maybe I'll go for a short run during my daughter's softball practice. Summer is coming and I should take advantage of these mild days before the suffocating humidity sets in.

Swimming = 10,000 yds = 5.7 mi
Biking = 829.7 miles
Running =  100 miles

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Slowly Getting Back at It

I was pretty sore on Sunday and Monday from the 85.5 miles at the Tour De Cure.  But my sis wanted to go out for a short run on Tuesday before she headed back to WI. So we went out for an easy couple of miles to shake out my legs and try to remember how to run.  Been so focused on cycling this spring that I haven't gotten many running miles in.  I kept a pretty decent pace (for me) and even had her asking me to slow down (I always go out too fast).  We also talked about heart rate and such (she has a PhD in Physiology and is finishing another masters in Exercise Physiology to change teaching tracks).  She said not to stress about my high heart rate during the hills. 

Busy (and kind of lazy) day on Wednesday while I was busy negotiating for and purchasing a "new" car.  My 2002 Impala had begun to be less dependable a few years ago and the number of times it had stranded me by not starting had seemed to be ramping up.  So we replaced it with an identical (nearly) 2010 model.

Weather was nice again today, but I had to prep for and attend an afternoon meeting (with my friend Stacy's husband - the county engineer).  I thought about the fact that I really need to get some more running miles in and decided to text Stacy when I got home.  She's been buried under a home remodel project and then hauling off debris from last week's storm (which put a tree branch through her barn roof).  But she said she was wanting to get back on the workout wagon and was happy to go out for a few miles with me tonight. 

She came over just before 8:30 and we got in 2.85 miles.  The first mile I managed to hold a pretty respectable pace, but as soon as we headed up a hill, I started having trouble holding on.  Hung on and tried to finish strong. 

I spent a bit of time looking at what training I'd have to do in order to tackle an Oly later this summer.  Definitely need to kick the running and swimming into gear.  Don't feel like the bike will be a big issue after all the miles I've put in this year, but would have to get busy with bricks.  Only about 11 weeks to train has me kind of the fence.  There are also some bike rides, trail runs and shorter (sprint) triathlons that are also possibilities, but I need to make some decisions soon so I can target my training.  And then there are things to consider as I look toward the fall.   Decisions, decisions. 

Swimming = 10,000 yds = 5.7 mi
Biking = 822.1 miles
Running = 96.9 miles

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Come Hell(-ish Wind) or High Water

For those of you living under a rock (or in another part of the world), the Midwest has been hit with some pretty gnarly weather this last few days.  We have had severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, generally high winds, lots of rain and flooding.  It did not bode well for a girl attempting her first century.  All week I was somewhat obsessively checking the weather forecast.  While it seemed pretty certain that I would ride in some amount of rain, the severe storms had me wondering if I would be able to ride at all.  Getting wet is one thing (and scary enough as I’ve never really ridden in the rain and wasn’t sure how that would change bike handling), but lightening was likely a deal breaker.

A couple days before the event, the Tour de Cure organizers sent out a revised century route due to flooded roads.  Instead of starting the hills about mile 50, they would start about mile 12 and go on and on.  My anxiety was at all new highs – full on nausea due to nerves.  But I told myself I was going to just get it done – come hell or high water. 

Oh how I wish I hadn’t had THAT thought.  We made arrangements for our kids to spend the night and day with friends (much better than my dear husband having to listen to them whine about being bored).  We dropped off my daughter as a nasty storm was heading into our area (and stretched from OK to IL).  We heard reports of large hail and high winds and decided to go back home and wait an hour to leave.  We watched the big radar blog marching along I-70 leaving havoc in its wake and then got in the truck and basically followed it.

We never completely caught the storm, but by the time we got to St. Louis, we were RIGHT behind it.  We stopped at a McD’s in Alton for a late dinner and then checked in at the hotel.  We showered and got ready for bed.  The Comfort Inn was a bit of a dump.  It did have a mini-fridge so we chilled my Gatorade for the next day.  It had two teensy beds so we voted to sleep separately.  Sleep was not to come though. The room was kind of hot and humid and the a/c cycled frequently with jet engine-like sound.  This was not to bode well for my event either.

When I got tired of looking at the clock at 5 AM, I got up and dressed and went to the breakfast area in the hotel.  It wasn’t officially open, but I snagged a banana and peanut butter which is about all I thought I could keep down given my jumpy stomach.  Watched the news of all the destruction from the night before – 100,000 people out of power, roofs off a Holiday Inn and a casino and lots of homes.  It was a mess!  Woke my husband up and finished preparing for my long day.  Headed out to the event just before six.  Packet pickup line was short and didn’t take long at all.  We stood around for a bit and then there was some pre-event info and the Red Riders (though riding with diabetes) lead us out.  GO RED RIDERS!
Not paying attention while buckling helmet - sis holding bike
Almost time to go
It was cloudy and lightly raining as we started.  The lead out group took a wrong turn out of the parking lot and led us in a circle around the venue back to the start – oops!  Then we were finally out on the riverfront road.  It started raining harder, but the flat terrain made it easy to push a larger gear and just make as much forward progress as I could.  The visor on my helmet did quite a bit to keep the water out of my eyes.  I wasn’t too cold even if the pelting rain was quite reminiscent of the SHITR.  The wind was at our side, but not too awful for most of the way out.  I wished that we were doing the original route as I felt great on that flat road.  I was dreading that first hill, but even after climbing it (somewhat breathlessly), I was still feeling great.  There was a lot of relatively flat rollers after that, but I stayed in the big ring for almost all of it (not crazy hills). 

I was tickled to death to zing past the first aid station and then the second just feeling fantastic.  I had an awesome average speed and had plenty of fluids left.  I ate a few Chomps and a half a waffle in there sometime.  About mile 31, I saw riders coming back towards me.  I knew the route didn’t have an out-and-back so what the hell.  They said the route was flooded and we were being re-routed.  I rode back the way I came and then I hit a section into the wind.  OMG – no wonder I had been feeling so good – serious tailwind on any portion going north.  My speed started dropping and my first signs of struggle appeared.  Then I saw ANOTHER bunch of riders coming towards me and telling me to go back the way I had come and look for a different road.  We went past the original route turn and went to a parallel road.  As we were cruising down this road, the SAG car appeared and told us we’d missed the turn.  The road we were looking for was on the original route.  My mental state took a dive as I realized I had just added about 8 miles.  But the guy assured me that they were having to cut the course down and it wouldn’t be 108 miles, but probably more like 75 (or 83 if you add my extra 8 miles).

As I went back down the original road, I heard that sound no cyclist wants to hear. PPFFFSSSTTTT!  Flat rear tire.  I started to panic as I have never really changed a flat. But here came the SAG.  The guy helped me get my wheel off and started trying to change my tire, but one of my levers broke.  So we stopped another cyclist who I was then handed off to in order to finish the tire change so the SAG could move ahead and try to get the revised route marked.  My guardian angel was named Mark.  He was part of Gus’s Gang team and was an experienced century guy (7 last year alone).  He said he’d ride with me – first, to make sure the tire held and second, to make sure I finished my first century (or as close as the route would allow).

But this stop was the beginning of my mental downfall.  It was a tough time getting going again.  I ate a little and drank a little, but probably not enough.  I started feeling soreness in my knees and my left Achilles along with all the usual places.  We got to the next rest stop and I grabbed some food and refilled a bottle.  Just after that, we passed two guys working on another flat (all the debris on the roads was torture for tires).  I pedaled ahead knowing they would probably catch me at some point.  But that riding alone, INTO the wind, in the middle of nowhere (seriously no humans for about as far as the eye could see) was very demoralizing.  They caught me as I rolled into the next town about 13 miles later blowing by me like I was barely pedaling.  I pulled into the rest stop fighting back tears.

I cried a little while I texted my husband that I was at mile 52 and struggling.  I ate a couple little sandwiches (ham on dollar rolls – actually pretty great).  I also had a banana because not much else (even chips and cookies) sounded good.  I had some plain water which was a nice break from the Gatorade.  I went to the bathroom (which kind of gagged me it was gross).  Threw up a tiny bit as I walked back to my bike and got on again.  Everything was starting to hurt and my mental state was shit.  But the food put a little bit of hope in me as did the fantastic volunteers.

We headed out again.  We ran into a guy with a shredded tire who couldn’t describe where he was to the SAG wagon (since the various reroutes had us all confused) and was hiking with his bike on his shoulder to try to get a better phone signal.  We told him about how far he was from the last rest stop to see if that helped when he called them back.  We saw him ride by in the van a little while later so I guess it did.  The hills and wind were continuing to crush my spirit and body.  I may have cried some more, prayed, whined, and wished for it to be over.  Mark generously tried to chat a few times to take my mind off of it, but part of me just wanted to be left alone in my misery.

But eventually, we rode into the last aid station.  The shredded tire guy was there getting a new tire from the awesome bike guys and headed out to finish as we rolled in.  I sat on a bench and cried again as I texted my husband that I was being told there was only about 13 miles to go.  He said he was at the finish and cheered me on again.  I told him I was glad he hadn’t met me out on the course because I’d have thrown my bike in his truck and given up.  Nothing sounded good to eat so I ate a cookie I had stashed from the previous stop and had some more plain water.  Finally headed out with a guy that I think had done the 50 on a hybrid (and he wasn’t a small guy).  The only thing that buoyed my spirits a little was the thought that we were “almost done”.  That only lasted until the first hill.  We managed to pretty much stay together which was good because pretty soon we were back in Alton.  This was a bit of a mind-fuck though because we got back to town a long damned time (and a few more hills) before we were at the finish.  Lots of stop signs and stoplights to go through plus a roundabout so it was nice to have others riding with me.

I had thought in my mind that we would be done at mile 83 on my watch.  But we passed that and then the mental low was deeper (kind of like the Kicks In The Sticks last year with the last 0.5 mile really being over a mile).  I almost called my husband to come get me since I knew I wasn’t far from him.  One stoplight, the tears were coming I just wanted to be done so badly.  The final downhill was super steep and kind of terrifying as the rain had started up again.  Then we took a turn into the parking lot instead of taking the road around so we got to climb one last hill to cut over to the finish line.  I was a bit of a mess as I rolled in to the cheers of my family.  I wanted to smile for their pictures, but I was hurting and so relieved to be done.  I looked at my Garmin – 85.5 miles.  I’m not sure I could have done the full 100. 
Rolling in down the sidewalk since we missed the turn onto the road
Trying to make sure I can unclip since I am so tired
I want to smile for the pics, but I'm in tears here.
Pulled it together to smile for a pic with my guardian angel - Mark
I pulled it together and introduced Mark to my husband and thanked him again for helping me with my flat and my ride.  I changed into my flip flops, emptied my pockets, wiped off my legs (mud/grime everywhere – looked like those guys from the Cedar Cross!) and went to look for the massage tent while my Sherpa took everything back to the truck.  The massage folks were gone so I grabbed some food.  The stir fry wasn’t too good so I dumped that and headed for a hot dog.  Grabbed my shirt and met up with my husband to head home. 

As we drove west, we saw probably over a hundred linemen trucks going east to help with the destruction.  It also got sunnier and less cloudy/rainy as we headed home.  I thanked God that the sun didn’t bake me at any part of the day (though the crusty salt on my face showed I still sweated plenty).  I rested some and then we stopped at Hwy 19 to get gas.  Then we went next door to the McD’s and I went to the bathroom and changed out of my chafing bike shorts and got a coke.  We got home pretty early so we told our friends that our kids could come home.  I had also been disappointed that the Qdoba folks had left the finish area before I got there so we headed out for Mexican for dinner.  I ate my weight in chips/cheese.

Slept pretty good after putting some Biofreeze on my legs and popping some ibuprofen.  Still tired and sore, but happy to have come close to finishing a century.  I gave it all I had to complete what I was given.  I definitely should have done some longer rides.  Still not sure if my being an emotional mess through the last half was from the lack of sleep the night before, not taking in enough food/drink, PMS, thinking about my dad a lot, lack of training or what. 

Thank you to all who have supported me on this journey.  Probably not doing anything the next few days while I rest up, but then it will be time to dive into Show Me Games training (especially getting my happy ass back in the pool since my arm is finally healed).

Swimming = 10,000 yds = 5.7 mi
Biking = 822.1 miles
Running = 92.0 miles