Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dollars to Donuts, Someday I'll figure out how to take a self-portrait on my phone

A long, long time ago (doesn't this sound like the start of a fairy-tale?  Oh, if only it had such a happy ending!), Don decided to sign up for the Tour de Donut (I'll explain in a minute) bike race.  I immediately told him I wanted to do the race, too.  

The Tour de Donut is:
A take-off of the Tour de France... with donuts
30.7 miles long... with donuts
In a town close to ours... with donuts
Oh, and it has donuts!

There are 2 stops in the race (miles 10 and 20) that are "donut stops."  At each stop, the racers have the opportunity to eat as many donuts as they choose.  And for every donut eaten, 5 minutes is taken of their adjusted time.  

So, let's set things up a little bit.  

Don either road bikes or mountain bikes regularly.  Just the weekend before, he and some friends rode WELL over 30 miles.  So this race presented an opportunity to push himself into the best time possible.

I have ridden my bike three times this summer.  Twice earlier in the summer with Don and the kids (probably 7-8 miles each time) and once on vacation (yeah, it was once around a campsite... not sure that should even count).  Oh, and I have still not recovered fully (health-wise) from my appendectomy and all the fun stuff that followed there.  And my bike?  It has a bell on it.

So, there's the set up.

I decided that I was still going to do the race, and just do my best.  And beg my friend, Cara, to ride it too (her hubby is one of Don's regular biking companions).  She kept arguing that she hadn't trained, and I assured her she wasn't alone in that!

So, the Friday night before, we sent the kids to my parents' house, so we wouldn't have to get them up super early.  Then we came home.  And I threw up violently.  Twice.  Which is part of the fun I've been experiencing health-wise (another long, boring post for another time).

But I still got up Saturday for the race, knowing from past experience that I would probably feel fine on Saturday.  So Cara got to our house bright and early, and she, Don and I headed 20 minutes away to the race.  
Here's our "before" photo... note the athletic sunglasses I'm wearing... like THAT was gonna help!

We got registered, got our race numbers, picked up our "free" t-shirts, then headed back to get our bikes.  Once there, Don realized HE FORGOT MY FRONT WHEEL at our house!  oops.

He felt terrible, and I was all stressed, but Cara just kept laughing... because really?  Did she and I think we were real race contenders anyway?  And did we even think we would/could FINISH the race?  So, she and I hopped in my car, raced BACK 20 minutes (maybe less...hehe), got the wheel, and raced back the 20 minutes...  See all the racing we did before it even started?

Oh, and have I mentioned I'm not super familiar with the small town that the race was held in?  So, Cara had her phone out using the map to navigate us back to our bikes.  We were both so busy trying to find our way that we failed to notice until ALMOST too late that we were headed straight for a police car leading the beginning racers.  EEK!  The spectators started yelling, the cop started yelling, I started yelling...  then I backed my car into a side street JUST in time...  nice.

It literally took us 20 minutes to figure out how to get to our bikes because so many streets were closed for the race (which calls to question:  why wasn't the street I was driving on when I met the racers closed???).  We find our spot with the bikes, get parked, and OH YEAH, neither of us are completely positive we know how to put on my front wheel.  Cara was pretty sure she had it, and I was almost positive I hooked up my front brake correctly.  But we figured one of two things would happen:  They'd either let us NOT race because we were getting such a late start (1/2 hour!!!), or there'd be someone at the start line that could make sure my wheel was on correctly.

We walked our bikes to the start line (enduring all the neighborhood people outside letting us know that we probably weren't gonna win starting so late..... hahahah people... really????).  And guess what?  No officials were there.  Only two volunteers who told us to go ahead & start.  So, Cara and I re-checked my front wheel, decided it looked good enough, and took off.


Once we got going, I got over my angst, and actually started enjoying myself!  Some of the local people were still outside as we rode by, and they all cheered for us (and I rang my bike bell back at them!).  It was a gorgeous day, I was with my good friend, I was getting some exercise... what was there to NOT enjoy???
See all the other racers?  Oh wait... that's Cara.  It was just she and I for a LONG time!  :)

We actually made it to the first donut stop feeling pretty good.  Neither of us had had to stop and walk our bikes up any hills, we didn't feel too tired, and we were pretty excited!  Until I looked at the donuts.  Ugh...  THAT'S when my stomach remembered how it felt the night before.  So no donuts for me.  :(

From there, we had to decide whether to move forward as long as we could... or to turn around and go back the 10 miles (for a total of 20).  I'm amazed at how competitive I felt (even though I knew without a shadow of a doubt I couldn't make it the entire 30 miles), and Cara said she'd do whatever I decided.  I actually started moving forward (after a volunteer told us we weren't THAT far behind the big pack of racers), but then common sense prevailed, and we traveled back the same way we came.

I still can't believe how well we did for not training at all.  We made it back 20 miles with really very little trouble at all.  And the racers who DIDN'T cheat came out to the same road for the last few miles of the race, so we got to ride in with other racers... and have people cheer for us... and ring my bell at them!  :)

When we got back, we felt GREAT!  It was exciting to know we could do it (and kinda felt like we might have been able to make the whole 30 miles), and it motivated me to train, so NEXT YEAR, I can!  (oh, and Don KILLED it... he exceeded his finish time goal by 25 minutes!)

While we were cooling off at the park, I attempted to take Cara and my picture again... the after photo.  The fact that I had so much difficulty might have been a clue as to how tired I REALLY was (even though I was riding high at that point):
Huh... how'd I get it sideways?  Let's try again..
Oh, I cut off the tops of our heads... Let's try again.
Ugh.  This time I cut off our heads even worse.  One.  More.  Time.
Well, this is good enough.

So, even though I had to end up taking a muscle relaxer that night because my knees hurt so bad (and Cara had ice packs on hers all evening, I found out later)...  it's motivated me to DO MORE!



Lora said...

Sounds like you had a great time:)

dulce de leche said...

Love the pics! You and Cara are always gorgeous. You biked more than I could, but I can eat more donuts than you. ;)

Darla said...

We DID have a great time.

And I would have thought I could eat a LOT of donuts, but there's something about being so hot, and NOT eating donuts. But I did have to get one at church the next day to make up for it! :)