Mr. Wilson and I rode in the Tour de Saint George this spring. We had originally signed up for the 35 mile ride. It was our first ride ever and we didn’t train on our bikes before hand. We’re both very active, go to the gym 4-5 times a week, and run so we figured we could tackle the 35 miles and see how we felt afterwords.
Well about 22 miles in, we thought “Let’s try for the 75!” because so far the ride had been really easy and fun. We split off from the pack of 35-milers at about mile 30 and headed down the route for the 75/100-milers. We were instantly shocked to find the course was much harder than it had started out to be. We were alone (assumed to be the last riders out for the longer distance routes) headed down the high way out to the airport. On our way through the desert, we were blasted with high head winds that slowed our pace to a measly 10 miles per hour. As we crept into the 35 mile mark I started thinking we had made a huge mistake. We rode along the highway, through the desert, up huge grades, blasted by wind and sand, beat upon by the blistering sun.
I still can’t believe the hill climbs we did. One after another, they just kept coming. I’d look ahead and think “WHAT – there is no way I can do that..” but yet we climbed! My sweet husband never complained and his encouragement was the only reason I even finished that race. Thanks to him, telling me how strong and capable I was (**laughing to myself), I never stepped off my bike to walk. He and I rode every. single. mile. From time to time, we were passed by 100 milers and even a reoccurring pack of little old ladies. But GOSH DANG IT, we kept going. 50 miles in, I really wanted to throw in the towel. My knees were throbbing, my neck was stiffening, my hands were blistering. Our backs were SO BURNT. But again, Kyle’s encouragement kept us going. 25 more miles…
Needless to say that by the end, I was crying out of pure self-pity. My sit bones were chaffed and tender. It didn’t matter how I adjusted my position, every part of my body was hurting. I know that Kyle felt the same way but he never complained! I’m telling you, that man is a MAN.
Kyle and I rode 75 miles on our bikes with no gloves, sunscreen, sunglasses, and Kyle didn’t even have clip-in pedals. It took us nearly 8.5 hours. EIGHT POINT FIVE HOURS sitting on a bike, climbing mountains, and testing ourselves. The rest of the weekend, I laid in bed massively swollen from punishing my body – but enough time has passed that I’m finally to the point where I’d do it again! Only if Mr. Wilson comes with me though.
This is real life, something like 60 miles in. We had made it to the final rest stop and I was seriously so miserable. Sandwich in one hand, chips in the other. The rest stop was made up mostly of 100 milers and their family members. Everyone was so happy and doing so great and then there I was, laying on the grass as if I was about to die.