Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lotoja number 7

5:00 am: I had already been pulled from my sleep by the nervous jitters and the worry that I would miss my start time. Finally it was was time to get up and get going. We made it to the starting line with some extra time which seems to always work well because I always need a pre-race pit-stop. 

As we pulled into the starting area I recognized a few friendly faces and figured that I would have some good people to work with throughout the day. What I didn't figure is how bad my knee would hurt. At around 50 miles we started our way up Strawberry Pass. My knee started to ache as our pace increased. Eventually I started to drift off the back of the group. As we neared the summit, there was a few hundred yards between us that I knew I couldn't close on the fast descent. My knee seemed to only grow stiffer as I stopped pedaling on the way down.

As I pulled into Montpelier I seriously was planning on quitting. Seeing my family all there to support me made me rethink quitting. I decided to carry on and just try to get through it. The next 20 miles is where I lost the most time. 

As I neared Jackson I rode past the tragic accident where a fellow cyclist crashed and after falling 50 feet over the side of a guardrail he lost his life. I passed the scene within minutes of it happening. I couldn't stop thinking about it as I continued to ride. At the time I didn't know anything about him, but that didn't stop me from thinking about his family waiting for him at the finish line not knowing that he wouldn't be coming. I knew the fall was unsurvivable. It was an experience that will stick with me. 

 I love my wife.
 I had the best support crew in the world. I actually had a guy comment on how lucky I was to have 2 cars full of people supporting me. Needless to say I am so glad to be surrounded by such great people.
The next day we went for a small hike to a lake. It was a rough hike because my legs were so stiff, but swimming made up for it.
I also received my 1,000 mile award. 

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