Going into 2011, I set some slightly aggressive goals and may have been over my head. On the top of my list was spending more quality time with my family. I feel like accomplished this as we tried to do a lot of things outdoors. We walked together and spent lots of time at the park with Cameron. I did not get to try out yoga, I did not read my Bible as much as I would have liked, sleeping was still an issue, and my diet was not too good (which did not help with my ab of dough goal). I did read quite a bit at the beginning of the year, but that went downhill due to time. I need to get back to reading this year. As far as events go, I did more than races I had planned (I’ll talk about that later). I did not reach my goal of biking and running 1000 miles. I did not attempt a triathlon. I did not get the sub-20 5K I was hoping for. I did complete the Mini Mararathon which I PR’d. Overall it appears I failed miserably at reaching my goals. BUT I think I made up for them the last quarter of the year. Next is a summary of the many things I experienced in 2011.
The RAIN (Ride Across Indiana) is an annual event where cyclists ride across Indiana. It starts in Terre Haute and ends in Richmond – about 165 miles total. I was definitely not prepared for this ride. I did not start training until a month or so before the ride because I was too busy running. I started biking with the pastor from my church and friend Mike who was going to do the RAIN ride with me. My longest training ride before RAIN was 50 miles and that was the weekend before RAIN. The week of the ride I was very nervous. One because I was undertrained and two it was going to be HOT the day of the ride. I hydrated and carb-loaded as much I could. The day of the race Mike and I were dropped at the starting line and it was just us with no support vehicles. There was a nice overcast and the temps were decent. By this time I was excited. It was awesome riding with 1500 bikes on highway 40. We eventually started hitting the hills and I knew it was going to be a long day. Once we got into Camby, the overcast was gone and the sun was beaming down severely. I felt overheated and was now dumping water over my head. We reached the lunch stop at 90 miles or so and I did not have an appetite. I forced food down my throat, drank lots of water and Gatorade, and poured ice down my jersey. I still felt overheated when we left the stop, but I wanted to get it over with. I was in survival mode at that point. The survival mode only lasted another 20 miles when I became really overheated. We had to stop at a CVS because I needed a cold drink. Two more miles down the road, I experienced my first leg cramp. I had to jump off my bike and lay in someone’s yard to stretch. That really hurt me mentally. I eventually caught up with my friend and I told him about my cramp. We made it to the next stop around mile 115 and my legs were shot. We took off and I didn’t make it another 3 miles before both legs seized up and I was off of my bike. At this point, I told Mike I could no longer go on. Luckily he knew someone supporting 3 other bikers and was very close to where we had stopped. We loaded my bike and I jumped in his air conditioned car. It felt really good. The guy was very nice and kept asking if I was okay and offered food. My friend continued onto Richmond. We drove to the next stop and waited for my friend and the riders he was supporting. They eventually arrived and we all helped them get ready for the last leg. I had called my wife to let her know that I dropped out and I would be in Richmond soon. We arrived in Richmond and my wife and son arrived soon after. We cheered on other riders while we waited for Mike. It was approaching 9pm (which is the cutoff time) and I was afraid Mike was not going to make it. At this point I was really feeling bad because I had held him back. There were about 3-4 minutes left and we spotted Mike at the bottom of the hill. We cheered him on and he finished with a minute to spare. Not bad for someone who only started biking 3 months earlier with his longest training ride being 50 miles.
I felt disappointed on the long car ride home because I really wanted to finish. I eventually got over it after two weeks. I realized I just biked 118 miles in 95 degrees on a cheap Walmart road bike – with little training under my belt. So at least I can say I rode a century on a bike. I may try the ride again this year. I am going to keep an eye on the weather leading up to the ride and may sign up last minute. If it’s going to be another HOT one, forget it. Overall, I was happy with this goal. Shortly after the ride, I got back into running to prepare for my full marathon in November. I stuck to my training plan for the first 2-3 weeks then decided to do my own thing. I felt great. I felt fit. Little did I know the rest of the year would be full of adventures.
Stay tuned for the rest of my 2011 adventures.