Usually, when I or anyone else I know, is doing a bike rally or triathlon or some other major athletic event, sleep is a commodity. I guess it's nerves that prevent a sound sleep the night before. We're all afraid we'll oversleep! Everyone I talked to, the morning of day 2, said they fell asleep hard but woke up early or every hour on the hour.
Not me. For some reason, I slept hard and very soundly after day 1's ride. Because of that, I seemed to have more energy than I expected.
The ride volunteers served up a great breakfast at our starting location for the 3200 cyclists participating. I decided to (once again) chow down on some food. This time, I also vowed to listen to my body on what I should eat during the day. My attitude on day 2 was vastly different than it was the day before.
The first surprise of the day was running into K and his wife. If you'll recall, K was the man I had the affair with.
Kind of but not really. I actually ran into both of them several times during the course of the day. We ended the day hugging and discussing our trials and successes during the ride. I feel pretty good about that.
If you had the chance to find out what was going to happen in your future, would you?
I ask that question because, just as the last time I did this ride, day 2 consisted of warning after warning about the huge hills we would be climbing.
I really didn't want to hear about them. Hearing the warnings only led me to feel anxious and fearful. Those two emotions burn up a lot of energy that I'd rather save for the struggle when I get to it. Or maybe that's just me?
There were hills. Lots of them. Including one hill that was a steady incline for about a mile. I still credit yoga for helping my body to handle these things. I used lots of cleansing breaths and my mantra:
"I am healthy, fit and strong."
Throughout the day, I stopped at the break points and continued to nourish my body. I kept my energy levels strong and kept smiling. The most fun was at one pit stop where they served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And they played this song, over and over again. I still can't get it out of my head. I danced my way to the snack table, ate a bit, did some yoga and danced my way back to my bike, singing this song the rest of the way in.
My mom had volunteered to drive a support van and passed me several times during the ride. All day she would text or ask me if I wanted a ride. My mom is so freakin' awesome. She knew I wanted to finish this thing but as always, she is loving and supportive.
I decided to have fun with the 74 miles I would be riding on day 2. I knew I had the energy. I knew my body could do it. I felt good.
As the temperatures rose during the day, I wished I was out with Gentleman Jack on the lake. His weekend was spent at an extremely competitive fishing tournament. We were sending pictures and videos during the day to stay in touch. There were plenty of moments when I wished I was somewhere else, ANYWHERE else, but on a bike. At one point on the route, I saw a pillow on the side of the road and imagined crawling into my bed...
Still, I finished strong and still full of energy. I joined the after party with my friends, had a beer and more food. My mom finally came through the finish line with her support van right as I was getting a nice post-ride massage.
Day 2 was a much better day for me. My body handled it well with yoga, good nutrition, massage, homeopathic arnica and good sleep. I am also very thankful for butt butter, pickle pops, Powerade, Clif bars and Shot blocks and my wonderful foam roller for working out those tight muscles. Lots of support from friends and fellow cyclists kept my spirits up all day too. Cyclists are really the nicest people you'll ever meet.
Overall, it was another great experience. Now... where do I want to challenge myself next?