I originally wrote this on February 25 of this year. Hot dang. Reading this was a trip. It reminds me I need to write more. It reminds me of how strong I am. How lucky I am. How much stronger I can become!
I got an email early in the week letting me know that a spot opened up in CIRREM for me. I was overjoyed. I missed out on basically every race I wanted to do last year due to terrible planning. It seems the stars are starting to align so to say and allow me to carry out my desires! Anyways I screamed “YES!” and then frantically started searching for a ride. Jamie came through with no question. Bei
ng the fellow badass she was already signed up and ready to go for the weekend. I cannot thank her enough for dragging my sad car-less self to Cumming for the weekend.
The morning of the race we drove out to the Cumming Tap, which is also the start/finish. We registered got a shirt and a bottle opener, pretty freaking wonderful for only paying 25 bucks. Then I pondered what to wear. It was around 25ish degrees with the hopes of it reaching nearly 35. I wore all wool for my base layers and added another thin leg layer and a windproof jacket. My new Major Jake was ready to go and so was I. Some weird things were my lack of a bike computer, I usually always have some numbers running to keep me on track. It was an interesting mental experiment to see how I would it would affect my riding.
The start was simple and I quickly found my pace with a group of dudes. Within the group I knew Kyle Sedore and Taylor Webb. I stuck with them for the first half. Chasing Kyle up hills since he was singled out and hanging onto little p
ace lines kept me going to the check-point. I chugged three-quarters of a PBR tall boy (BAD IDEA…sorta) and inhaled a cookie or two. I hopped back on my bike solo when I saw a lady in pink take off. I hung with them for a bit and then bonked a little bit. I got a couple of pushes up a hill or two and then found my breath about 2 miles of getting back into my zone. I cruised alone for the second half, slowly chasing down people….sloooowly. I finished in 4:34, which impressed me immensely. This is honestly the longest ride I have gone on this year and I know I could have been faster and smarter. I was drenched in sweat at the end of the ride. I took my gloves off even. Clothing choice wasn’t ideal. I could have brought a camelback to make up for my one bottle cage. I should have skipped the beer..teehee. All in all I surprised myself. I am optimistic to a breaking point, but this race gave me some real grasp on my mental health. I was strong enough! I didn’t break down. I didn’t even need a computer or numbers to keep me going. I am learning more and more about myself every mile I ride. I survived winter and I am o.k. I was smiling at the start and at the finish. I couldn’t have asked for better conditions.
After the race there was free beer and tacos. O_O My face hurt from smiling. Surrounded by some of the best people in the mid-west, all shoved into a tiny bar in Cumming, IA. I will be back next year!