A few months ago, I got this stupid idea in my head that doing a cycle challenge for charity would be a great idea. Someone must've slipped something in my water, because I was clearly delusional! The full challenge was 100km from Brisbane's South Bank down to Southport on the Gold Coast. Okay, so that was a little ambitious, so I opted for the tamer version.... "only" 60km.
The Route - just over 60km
What the bloody hell was I thinking????? Next time I even mention the idea of doing something this completely stupid, SHOOT ME!!! Seriously! It will be far less painful!
We awoke to light drizzle which was a great start - at least the sun wouldn't be beating down and sapping my precious energy. We had taken a drive down to Southport the day before and parked Scott's CRV in a parking garage not far from the finish line. So on the morning of the race, we strapped the bikes to the Astra and drove an hour down to Beenleigh to join the ride at 8am.
No worries mate, this was going to be great! And it was awesome. For the first 40kms. Riding with a whole bunch of other people out for a fun ride with the family to raise money for Diabetes Australia and the Heart Foundation. I didn't even worry too much about the kids passing me with seemingly endless energy up the hills. It was all for fun and a good cause. Spirits were high. Camaraderie was the order of the day. I made sure I kept hydrated - completely drained a full camel pack (those water bladder things that look like a backpack with a long straw) and drank a bottle or two of Gatorade.
Then the threat of cramps started.... I'm not sure that these "threats" weren't worse than the actual cramps would be. But with "only" 15kms to go, there was no way I could give up. I just put my head down, concentrated on my breathing and put all my mental and physical power into peddeling - one revolution at a time.... With only 5km to go, I would've been overjoyed to see a guillotine for each of my legs. I was in absolute agony! Those last kilometres are a bit of a blur to me now - just pain. I think I needed a pit stop and vaguely remember a lady at a servo telling me that I couldn't use her toilet. Bitch! I can't remember if we found anywhere else to stop. All I remember is pain. I've never felt such pain in my legs before.
The finish line. The beautiful finish line.
Me turning around to Scott - I did it!
Tears behind the grimace
Scott looking far too chipper!
I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried tears of relief as I crossed that finish line. I now understand how those runners feel at the end of a marathon when they literally crawl over the finish line. Why do people do this to themselves? It's just so undignified! Crawling and blubbering over finish lines. It's for the birds I tell you!
And it was all Scott's fault of course! He was awesome through the race - extremely encouraging. And those white lies about the distance still to go were most appreciated (if not completely believable). But when he brought out the camera after the race and wanted to take "happy" snaps.... Let's just say that I was not "happy"!
Can you feel my pain?
He truly is Mupersan, you know. He still got back on his bike and rode to where the car was parked and came to fetch me. Heavens! And we still had to collect my car - which meant I had to drive! That clutch has never been so damn stiff!
But a bath in good old Arnica oil before a good night's sleep on a Symmonds BeautyRest did the trick and I was able to function as a relatively normal human being the next day.
I think these are the kind of experiences you would call character-building.... a silly euphamism for an insanely stupid act never to be repeated! ;-)