I DID IT!!!
Ok 73 miles isn't much for some, but I'm stoked, tired but stoked.
As some of you know I have been training for this for the last 2 months. Training started out great until I found full time employment. Even with weird work schedules and every thing I continued to build up my miles but I never got much more than 50 miles.
Fast forward to this morning. I woke up at 4am to have Oat meal and a sports drink. I had gotten every thing together last night So all I had to do was get dressed and roll out. I got to the start area at about 5:30. It was a cool 50 degrees so I hung out in my car for half an hour. With a 6:30 start time that gave me time to talk to other riders which was cool cause I never get to do that.
Over all I took it pretty easy the first half of the ride. I played it safe since the start seemed to be the most dangerous time, actually saw 3 crashes in the first 10 miles. At about the 10 mile mark we hit some of the harshest roads in town, I call them the Tucson cobbles. There were some hills further into the ride but it was pretty flat.
After heading to the south side of town we took a right turn onto Ajo way. This road is flat and straight. I was able to really pick up my speed. nothing really to report here.
After Ajo we finally start heading north again. it is at this point I finally stop at an aid station to get more water. This is were I learned a lesson, the profile that was sent out by the organizers made it seem like the last 25 mile stretch was down hill for the most part. Well it wasn't. it was a solid 15 miles of uphill. ever so gradual with some rollers. this is were I cooked myself. I went to hard and alone. I could have hung on with a group and paced myself but they seemed to be going to slow for me, needless to say the passed may with 10 miles to go.
By the time I hit level ground I am at my limit. keep in mind 63 miles is already 13 more than I have ever done. every thing was going wrong, feet started to hurt, I was on the verge of cramps the rest of the way and I was beat. A few times I just thought about stopping to take a break but I didn't let myself, I had a goal I still wanted to fight for. When I got to the finish line I had to stop to hand over my time chip and I kinda cramped up when I unclipped, kinda embarrassing cause I let out a little whimper. Soft pedaled to my car, changed shoes and walked over to the results tent.
I was really sure that I had passed the 4.5 mile benchmark but when I showed them my number the handed me a silver medal(given to riders who complete the course between 3 and 4.5 hours)
I was over the moon cause that was my goal to get the silver. I also raised $265 for the charities.
All in all not a bad experience. I will do something like this again but maybe not in the near future. I earned some valuable experiences and lessons and also kinda surprised my self that i could do it.