By taking on one of the most unimaginable challenges in my athletic carrier I feel ok about all of it. At the same time if was also taking on one of the most unimaginable levels of pain that I have experienced as an athlete. There is pain that you can tolerate and then there is pain that is going to cause damage.
My back pain was manageable until my knee started to hurt..then trying to deal with both at the same time became something that I just could not tolerate any longer and time was running out. I made it to 400 miles without my legs ever feeling very tired. My butt did not hurt and so much was going so much better than I could have ever hoped for with the little training I was able to do. I am thankful for the opportunity and I am not disappointed at all.
Never say never:) I will go back to the 508 one day and for the DV cup again. Next time I will have a much greater idea of what a short climb on a bike really looks like! :)
Getting to the top of Towns Pass on a bike scared the pants off of me, but I did it and I also passed 5 people on this climb. The mile stones I was able to accomplish on a bike that seemed so difficult are now feathers in my cap.
It is such a joy to watch you all accomplish your own mile stones.
So many people had to deal with adversity this weekend at races all over the World. From the 508 to the Chicago marathon, 100 mile races, 24 hour races. I can say this: I know that we all set out to do our very best and the best is all we have to give. I can promise you that I gave the 508 my best and I walked away sad with not being able to finish but a much stronger person in so many ways.
I have spent a long time thinking about the 508 and now have a clear understanding of what it really is all about:) You can read about the course and look at the profiles of the 35,000 feet of climbing you will do but this is just not the same as actually doing it on the bike!
Riding a bike at a level of speed that I am not comfortable with at night scared the pants off me.
Pot holes in the road, gravel, cold, wind..all of the many obstacles along the way that I feel really slowed me down will be easier the next time around.
The respect I have for the many who did complete the 508..well done! I heard a few times from the very experienced bike racers: "its only 500 miles"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have heard this many times in the sport of Ultra running.."its only a 100 miles"!!!!!!!!!!
I now see that the sports are very much the same it just depends where you spend your time:)
Running Badwater (135 miles) I know I can do this..many I spoke to who are bike racers could not even comprehend how one could run this far..
Simple and the same: I was wondering the same about riding 508 miles on a bike:)
I know I can ride the bike 508 miles, I was sure of this when I made the choice along with my crew to pull out of the race at 400 miles. It was not for thinking I was not going to make it, it was all about possible injury and debilitating pain.
As a coach I don't agree with the idea of pushing to a place of no return or that your mind is your limitation...if your body is begging you to stop due to pain and it is going to limit your ability to continue on with a healthy life then you might want to think about the live to race another day mind set.
I left the 508 feeling good about my choice..sad but good. I will ride my bike again, I won't hang it up and let the dust settle on it or give it away. My plan now is to let my back and knee heal, spend time with my family and then get back on the saddle as I cross train my way to Run Across America with my buddy Louise.
Thanks to my awesome crew who taught me so much. I am a better athlete, better on the bike and will be a better coach with all the information I gained during the 508.
Thanks to all of you for the phone calls, the emails, the blog posts...we are all in this together that is what I love most about endurance sports.
Thank you for your support
I leave you today with a very good quote that was sent to me from my friend Jackie.
“Keep your mind open to change all the time. Welcome it. Court it. It is only by examining and reexamining your opinions and ideas that you can progress.”- Dale Carnegie