For 2012, I decided the rollers and I had an appointment with destiny. I began aggressively training in February with the goal of completing the 100 Miles of Nowhere in under 5.5 hours. Instead of “selling” miles, I sold songs on my playlist during the ride. I got some pretty good songs to add to my ride playlist, too. Things were progressing nicely: I was raising money, gathering songs, and putting the hurt on my legs as they got leaner and stronger.
Then the bomb dropped. Mid-trainer session on May 15th, I got a phone call from my dad. My aunt, Lisa, who endured nearly five years of continuous chemo treatment to treat metastatic ovarian cancer passed away. My sweet, wonderful aunt, with the magnetic smile, wonderful wit, and huge heart was gone. Her memorial service was Friday, June 1st, at 2:00 in the afternoon. Over 500 people packed the church to say goodbye, a testament to how she touched lives.
Logistically, there was no possible way I could ride the 100 Miles of Nowhere on the 2nd with the travel for the service. Of course, this was only a minor inconvenience as the race can be completed alone and the race was very low on the priority list considering what had transpired. When we got home, late on the 2nd, I cooked up some rice cakes, set up the rollers and fans, built a box to aid my reach for bottles and food, and did final preparations on the playlist. So there it was, the FatCyclist.com 100 Miles of Nowhere – Late Because Cancer Sucks Edition.
The emotional and physical exhaustion of saying goodbye to my aunt led me to revise my plan and just start whenever I got up on the 3rd. Really, I wasn’t going to take longer than 5.5 hours total time anyway, right?
I got started at about 10:45 a.m. PST and immediately knew I had the legs to reach my goal. I felt like I was flying, like there was no chain. It was almost as if I had wings like Aunt Lisa’s cranes blowing in the breeze from the fans next to me.
|The cheering committee|
Then it started to hurt. The doldrums set in between about miles 60 and 80 for me on most centuries. Mentally, I was cracking. Physically, I started to see big fluctuations in my 5-mile split times ,and I knew my legs were still good. Not great, but still good.
As I rolled past mile 70, I was on pace to be not just sub-5:00, but really, really close to sub-4:30. That’s total time, mind you, including the break and change of clothes. It was time to dig in and finish.
|My girls checking on my progress|
|Grinding to the finish|
|Exhausted, but done with Aunt Lisa's crane|
|It's all over for another year|