Leading up to this years race there were a lot of things that kept me off the bike. The record amount of snow, climbing trips, family vacations, and the fact that I got engaged all have taken their little pieces out of my normally free training time. I spent less than half the amount of time on my bike that logged last year.
The morning began as usual, our pace was slow and I was leery of taking turns at the front. The hours ticked by and I felt better than expected. I had a good mix of food and there were a few guys I knew in my group that helped pass the time. It wasn't until we hit the King of the Mountain that I began my slow decline into suffering. The day was hot and the asphalt seemed to hurl the suns heat back into my face as I went up the last steep pitch. The group I was with got away on the climb.... I had to grit my way back to them on the flats after the descent. That is how the rest of the day went, what I lacked in fitness I made up for with endurance. I guess the 26 hour day I pulled on Rainier did transfer over a little... or it was the three 5-hour energy shots that I had... can't be sure.
Eventually we neared the finish. I didn't feel like I deserved to win so I kind of just set myself up to fail on the final sprint. I knew my position was garbage but I was so beyond caring by that point that I just wanted to get off my bike. My neck was aching, the bottoms of my feet were on fire, I was exhausted... of the 13 of us in our group I came in 13th. I sat up at the end and coasted in. This was probably the most I have ever wanted to quit this race. My time was a mental test... sheer will was the only thing that kept me with that group and I have never had a harder time in any bike race. It wasn't so much that I was tired, I was just miserable. Looking back on it now almost a week later I can say I had a great time... that is the amazing thing about misery, when you look back at it you can totally mistake it for fun.
Final Time: 09:37:52.713
I thought I was going to spontaneously combust right about here...
Support... I am so lucky to have people in my life that will support me in making myself miserable.
Feed Zone Fury
The climb from Alpine, WY always goes fast
Finish.... Can you see the misery?