Bike Race Completed!

Thank you to all of you who encouraged me to do this race and prayed for me. It went absolutely great!!!

I went to bed early Friday night and took meds because I wanted to make sure I got a good nights rest. I woke up around 4am, an hour before I needed to be. I got up, made myself breakfast and gathered all my stuff up. We left the house about 5:45 so we could stop to pick some others up then we headed to Black Rock Retreat in Quarryville. We were some of the first there and got registered and we're given our packet of goodies and numbers.

We hung around for awhile chatting until our bikes got loaded in the truck. We then boarded a charter bus to be taken to the starting point. There were some people who were actually leaving from Black Rock via bike to bike down to Rehoboth which was 125 miles. I would've liked to have done that but I figured with only having Noah barely 2 months ago, I probably shouldn't push my body that hard yet. Maybe another year I'll do that one.

We got dropped off at one of the food stops which was a few miles ahead of where we should've started. It was also about a half hour later than we were supposed to get dropped off. The starting point was just a little south of the St. Georges Bridge near Rt 1. I got myself all situated (changed into my clips, put my number on my back, etc) and off I went.

It was a gorgeous morning. It was still a bit cool but it felt fine being in the sun. We were given laminated cue sheets of the route but the roads were also marked so I chose to not bring my cue sheet along (it's honestly a pain to try and follow it while still trying to maintain a good pace). I trusted that I would be able to follow the road markings. I admit, that was a little crazy considering I was in another state on roads I was never on before. (I was in Delaware).

I guess that's sort've like my life. I am just following the roads and turns that are placed before me, trusting that God will guide me to where I am supposed to go. Much like following those orange fluorescent "B's" on the road, not knowing what lies ahead but trusting they were going to keep me on the correct route and eventually lead me to the finish line. There were times I was lead through major intersections or even along highways and sure, I could've made my own way elsewhere but I probably would've gotten lost. Much like there are times when God takes me down roads I'd rather not go down. If I try to do my own thing and veer from His route for my life, I most likely would get lost or even mess things up in my life. Just like those in charge of the race, they could see the entire route and knew the best way to reach the finish line, so does God see the entire picture of my life and where I need to go to reach my ultimate "finish line" of heaven. And it's up to me to place my trust in Him and give Him the control to guide me. Which definitely isn't always an easy thing to do.

I was on a lot of desolate, back roads for quite awhile. Which was a good thing because it meant no major intersections and I was able to go for the first hour and a half and not have to unclip once. That allowed me to set a really great pace and make good time. I had supplements tucked into the back of my jersey so I was able to eat as I biked and was also able to reach down and grab my drink bottles while biking as well.

I didn't stop until 2 hrs and 31 min after I started, which was at the 40 1/2 mile mark. At that point, I stopped long enough to grab a sandwich to eat & refill my gatorade and off I went again. This was a really good supported ride with many great volunteers. Numerous times while on the road, I saw one of Black Rocks vehicles pass and honk. They were roaming the route making sure everyone was ok. I know there were several who had flat tires they would come help fix. I was thankful I wasn't one of them.

At times, I would have miles of nothing but empty straight roads ahead. I liked those stretches because it meant that I could really make good time. I kept a pace of anywhere between 16-20 mph. But it also got a little boring because there wasn't much to see. There were also times when we were lead through some pretty busy places, like going around Dover Downs and part of Rt 13. While I couldn't go as fast there, it made the time go fast because I had to pay close attention to my surroundings so it kept me mentally busier.

The last 5-8 miles seemed to drag because I knew I was SO close to the end!! In fact, I was so gungho on trying to get done, I was going 18-20mph those last few miles. When I rounded my last turn, I knew the end was near, but it still ended up being another 2 miles. It was a sweet sight as I came up on the finish line to see people waiting and cheering!! My odometer on my bike showed I actually did 81.24 miles because of being dropped off several miles earlier than we should've been. But I guess when you're already doing 75 miles, what's a few more, huh??

My own personal goal was to try to finish in 6hrs or less. Much to my surprise I finished with a time of 5 hours and 9 minutes!!! I guess when you think about the fact that I just had a baby 2 months ago plus everything else we've gone through with losing Noah, that was pretty amazing to even accomplish this. I have Noah to thank for making me so strong and giving me a sense of determination. He was such a fighter and taught me so much in his little life. I spent a lot of time during this ride just thinking about the time I was blessed with my precious son.

I know everyones question to me after I finished and even the day after was, how do I feel? Am I sore? And honestly, I felt great when I was done. In fact, we spent the rest of the weekend down in Rehoboth with friends doing stuff and I was fine. It was a great experiance doing this! I guess now I just pushed the bar higher for myself. The next ride to accomplish is a century, which is 100 or more miles. I was 19 miles short of this with this ride & I look forward to reaching more goals!!!

This is a pic of me at the finish line with my friend Joyce. (I'm in the red)

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