|Kim and Kate at Race Start|
|Kim with the finsher's medal|
So, a couple of weeks ago Kate asked if I'd like to join her on the 70 mile Tour de Scottsdale ride. She and her husband had planned to do it, but he decided against it for a variety of reasons. Of course, I said yes! Never mind that my longest ride (ever) prior to this was approximately 56 miles, that I hadn't been training for a long ride (in the last few months I've only done relatively short--25-30 mile--training rides) and that it was a hilly course.
The ride started out with some low grade climbing--nothing too steep, but a long climb. Kate and I tried to make sure we hydrated and ate regularly to preserve our strength. We made it through the first 1/2 of the ride in pretty good shape. It was nice to finish out the first half riding down a very long (nearly 10 miles) hill.
Then, things started to get a little bit more tough. It started to get warm, hot really. The worst part about riding in the heat is that there's little relief from it. The sun beats down from above and the road radiates heat from below. The next 20 miles included lots of rolling hills and then a huge killer hill as we left Fountain Hills. It was at least a full mile of climbing approximately 52 miles into the ride. It took out a number of cyclists--you could see a growing number stopping and walking their bikes or cutting out at the aid stations. Kate and I powered through it, but we could feel ourselves fading.
The rest of the ride was a test of my mental toughness. I really didn't think I could manage another hill, but I was not going to get off that easy. At the 62 mile aid station, Kate and I talked about stopping--especially if we came upon the school where our vehicles were parked. I pushed off from the stop only to find myself climbing another low grade hill--a long and painful uphill ride (I was close to tears at this point--thinking, why was I doing this again?). For the first time in the ride, I switch from my big front gear to my little one just so I could keep moving. We finally got a little downhill relief. There was one last aid station around 65 miles. Imagine my disappointment hearing the volunteers yelling, "hydrate for the hill!!" I really didn't think I could take another hill, but I still hadn't gotten to my car and there were only a few miles left.
The hill was another painful climb. At the top was the parking lot where we had parked. I debated about finishing or calling it good at that point. I was just too close to check out, and I had just climbed the last hill of the ride. I continued to the finish where I was very happy to be done with the official ride. However, there was more riding to be done. The parking lot was about 2 miles away, so I (very reluctantly) climbed back on my bike and headed to the truck. The air conditioning felt so good!!! I hurried home to shower and head out to see West Side Story at Gammage with Adam. It was nice sitting in a cold and dark auditorium.
After the show, we helped set up for a Diversity Pipeline event at the law school and then caught dinner (I was starving!!). Finally, I ended the evening with a nice, warm bath using the new Dr. Teal's epsom salts that I won from the very awesome Mary Sailors (who ran a killer TC Marathon yesterday as I was riding around Scottsdale) at Fit This, Girl!. The salts were very relaxing and after a quick electric pulse massage on my sore neck, back, and feet; I fell asleep for a much needed night's rest.