Monday, August 25, 2008


So, I guess before I start stating all of the reasons, I should first say that I failed. I quit 105 miles in, after lunch. And I've been beating myself up for it ever since. Though, arguably, it was the right thing to do I'm still pissed. I'm upset. I'm heartbroken. I'm dejected. I'm depressed.

All because 96 more miles just seemed like it would be too much.

The excuses:

1. My right foot, which I think I mentioned here before, started, at about mile 70~ish, to kill me. It starts like a hot spot, and within a few miles it feels like I'm stepping down on a hot spike every down stroke. And it starts to move up the leg until my knee hurts as well. It really sucks. I iced at lunch, which kept me there longer than I planned; which left me there alone after the guys I'd been riding with (thanks, Brian, and I mean that sincerely for the 1st half company) had all left already. When I did decide to start again, no one else was leaving. And when I pulled up before leaving the parking lot because the pain was already back, no one else was there to force me to suck it up.

2. Lack of sleep. I didn't fall asleep until probably close to midnight Friday night. I know this about myself, I have a hard time sleeping in hotels, especially if I'm alone. I should have taken my own pillow. I should have shut my mind down better. I should have dealt with the nerves better.

3. Lack of motivation. Sounds weird to say since I've been planning on this ride since, well, probably over a year. But when I got it in my head that I wasn't going to be able to do it, really got into my head. The thought of being 20 or 30 or 40 miles into the second half and having to bail freaked me out. One, because, though the website claimed that there'd be SAG, I never saw any out on the course, and other riders suggested that I would have to call my wife (who was in SLC, 4 1/2 hours away). Two, because of the second part of number one, Robyn was in Salt Lake, I was really on my own and would have no one to call if / when things went bad. Not that there would be cell service anyway. Anyway, it got in my head and I let it. I was weak.

Now for the possible good side. Me quiting prevented me from having another blow-out an hour or so later. I wrote about how my rear tire blew apart while I was at work a week ago, splitting a two inch gash into the tread. Well, an hour or so after getting back to the hotel, my front wheel blew. Same thing, about a two inch gash. I would potentially have been stranded with no tire, anyway.

The only other positive is now I'm truly going to obssess about this ride. The first half was amazingly fun and beautiful and I hear that the second half is amazing, if you can catch the view while suffering up the climbs. I will be riding next year. And you can be damned sure that I'll finish.

I'm going to call in a while to get an appt to discuss the details of the foot surgery I need with my doctor, and to get something scheduled for soon after I get back from Guatemala in September. It's supposed to be six weeks of recovery. I have to try to decide if I'm going to try to talk him into going ahead and fixing the left foot too, since it's progressing, just at a slower pace. I'd hate for it to flare up this time next year.

More later, when I'm not kicking myself so hard.

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