over a month ago was the Whistler Gran Fondo - this was my "A" event for the year.
As the title of this post says it was a big disappointment to say the least.
The expectations by all were high - I had been rocking all the training rides. I was strong - I was back to pre-accident form if not better. I was at the front of the hills - I was holding on strong to the super fast group. I could hold my own and I was dropping peeps on hills again - this was going to be awesome I was going to break 5 hours and 4.5 hours was a very realistic goal. I was pumped.
Ride strategy had been pondered and talked about over with Jude and I had my game plan - the last ride was fantastic - I was relaxed, I was ready, I was excited.
Last ride went well I felt great, enjoyed the rest of my long weekend and then Monday night the ominous itch in my throat started. SHIT - no need to panic - gargle with salt water and off to bed. Tuesday am - I wake up and ghhhhh, gaaaak, hrrrrrrghhh, okay not good throat very sore. I look at Joe - he is like you will be okay you have 5 days. OHHHHH OKAY. SHHHHHIIIIITTTT
So as the day at work progresses the throat gets worse so lunch is spent buying lemons, emergenc C, and COld FX. Double shit - my boss looks as me and is considering banning me from the office and says I don't sound so good.
I get home and crawl into bed I feel like I have been hit by a truck but is okay I have just over 4 days - BAHAHAHAHAHAH. I begin the dosing and move into the bedroom. I wake up the next am and it is official I am hooped and have a very bad cold. So the plan now is to go into damage control and try to break this so I am on the bike by Saturday and ready to ride. (Delusional - maybe- okay completley). I get up Wednesday and feel like complete crap- this is good it means I am pushing the germs out - so I drag my sorry self to the office and bail at noon - on the way home I grab hot and sour soup - that's right the big guns. I am not messing around germs - get the F* out of my body - non-refundable entry fee - need I say more.
Thursday -the super sensitive achy feeling was gone but I could not talk because I sounded like I had been smoking cigarettes and drinking whisky - great the hangover without the actual drunk. Continue to natural regimen with more sleep and another dose of hot and sour. I went to package pick-up - YES I WENT - non- refundalble??????!!!!! I spoke to the ladies I had a plan if I was still feeling like crap I could start in Squamish and just do the last 60km. The race officials at package pick-up said I could do that. YEAH
Friday - my voice was pretty much back and it had not moved into my chest - was still not sure if I was would ride from Van or Squamish but I had till Saturday morning to decide.....Okay who are we kidding this is me of course I woke up Saturday and texted Jude - I will see you at the start line - I was going to ride the whole thing - it was going to be hard and not the race I trained for but it would be what it would be.
As a team we started together - well not completely true we had the super fast crew up front and then the rest of us at the back. We all met and headed out together the plan was to ride as a group to Horseshoe bay and then go for it in small groups - race! My plan survive. So we did stay together to Horseshoe Bay - I felt pretty good and was obviously in complete denial. At Horseshoe bay the boys, Jude and Lori left us like Cindy and I were standing still. Not unexpected - good luck team. At that point i still felt okay so I got to the 2nd aid station and pulled in - Cindy was behind me - no idea where but I went in and grabbed a banana , refilled my bottles, bathroom break and looked for Cindy. After a few minutes I decided time to go she either passed or is behind. I still felt okay plan keep HR under 80 and not push this into my chest and get worse. 2 concerns are pushing into my chest can lead to causing a virus infection in the heart muscle not good or the better option me just getting sicker... neither one viable. Keep the HR low, eat, drink.
I got to the 3rd aid station and well that hurt. I refilled my bottles, ate another banana, nibbled an orane slice, grabbed a banana for the road. That is right - it was that BAD - I was not only eating bananas but I was carrying extras!!! I looked and it was 16 km I can do this 16km - I can do this.
OFf to to the 4th aid station - the word is owwwwwwwwwww, and then owwwwwwwwww but I got there - and thought about going to the first aid and asking them to call a ride for me to Whistler but after using the port-a-potty, eating some more banana's, grabbing a few pretzels and such I regrouped and went it's only 16 km or to the next aid station- I can do that and then I saw Cindy. So we went off together. My goal get to the next aid station.
Aid station 5 - OMG - make it stop- I hurt so bad - I was so tired, I saw Cindy and she asked how are you doing NoT good - I was about to start crying - she was like - "let's sit down for a minute", okay. So we sat for a spell and then we got up to leave and saw some peeps we knew said hi and then finished refueling and refilling supplies. Okay only 16 or so to the finish lets do this. I even was so delusional that I thought we might be able to break 5.5 hours.... so off we went and YEAH headwinds. We tried to pace line but it was tough - Cin kept dropping off my wheel so I would sit up and then she would get on and we would go for a bit - it was tough slogging - I felt worse then I did during Ironman - agony is all I can think of agony. IT was hot to and people were stopping and sitting on the side of the road. I was like seriously it is 16 km don't stop now, but I will be honest I fell like stopping I was growing desperate. Just finish this, so I went and I left Cindy, but whe was really only about a minute maybe 2 behind me.
That was the toughest and roughest ride I have ever done. It was hell final time 6 hours "ish" very disappointing. I have had a really tough time since getting motivated to ride. I keep finding reasons not to ride with the group. I have been going out on my own but I just have been struggling. Rationally I know i should be fine with it but irrationally I am super bummed and disappointed with the whole experience.
I will get over it but I am still struggling. Next up is Las Vegas Half on December 4th. I felt I needed to redeem myself and do a race for the fall - I know it is not my usual full but it has been a tough year.
Thanks for listening to my whinging