As the year went on I thought more and more about doing that race. Yes, initially I remember seeing the faces of riders that were mentally beat down and physically fatigued, but the more I thought about it there was a ton of excitement associated with the race. Several people were also very high spirited and had a real sense of accomplishment as they rolled through the aid stations and across the finish line.
In late fall I broke the news to my husband that I was contemplating the race. Initially he looked at me like I was crazy, which is a fair assessment. After some discussion he said if I wanted to do it he would support me and help me train. I am pretty sure he thought this might be another one of my hair brained ideas that I would possibly forget about after a few weeks.
I am not a strong rider. I have come a long way over the last few years, but I knew if I wanted to finish this race I would need to really need to step things up and I would have to mentally commit - all in 100%.
Over the winter word was out that I was contemplating doing the race for the first time. At first there was fear, "OMG they are really going to think I am crazy?" But with this team, crazy is normal. I had a few initial conversations with some of the ladies on the team (Angie, Corianne and Lisa) about doing the race and my excitement grew. By the beginning of the year I was set on doing the race. I was also celebrating a milestone birthday in 2016, which gave me more motivation to prove to myself, you can do this.
How about that nutrition? Ugg...race day nutrition...this is something I had been putting off, which I know is the worst thing you can do before a big race. I had tried different foods during training rides over the winter and spring. I found things my body would tolerate. My big issue is that generally I have NO desire to eat while I am riding. I like to drink plenty of fluids, but the thought of eating any type of food makes me sick, especially on longer rides. I was getting pretty nervous about what to do for race day. Some of the team members were using Infinit Nutrition, so I checked it out. I answered the questions online, a few days later my first custom order came in and I had the opportunity to try it out on a few long rides before the race. My body responded quite well. I know you should not try new things like this a few weeks before a big race, but it all worked out. It was just what I needed. #IAMINFINIT
As Mike and I drove to the race we gave each other the last minute pep talks. He then told me that he was going to do the race with me. Up to this point in time I was mentally prepared to just do this myself. At first it made me a little more nervous. I knew I would hold him back, but honestly I was so reassured to know we would be doing this together and I would have someone out there with me.
When we got into town, we hooked up with the rest of the KSD crew. I was once again relaxed to see some of my KSD ladies. Angie Burgess, Corianne Kocarek and Lisa Costello gave me the last minute pep talk and high fives that I needed.
Getting to the starting line was a bit of a whirlwind. So much excitement was going on. I really could not believe that this was really going to happen. All of the training and preparation came down to this. I remember standing beside Mike at the starting line filling up with an amazing amount of emotion. The race began and it was everything I had anticipated and more. I loved every minute of it.
Aid Station 2 (Mile 34), yep encountered some weird, I mean unique, riders there. Riders around us were starting to drop out of the race. We got in and out quickly. I was keeping a close eye on my target times and I was just a few minutes over my target time. I started to get anxious about staying on track. I knew I was losing ground with my time and I still had the hardest part of the race ahead of me. All I could think of is I have to get through Mohican Wilderness. This was the one part of the race I had heard so much about but I had not had the opportunity to pre-ride. Kenny was kind enough to email me a summary of the wilderness a few days prior to the race. By the time I got there I could only remember something about a round building with a coned shaped roof being close to the end. I kept looking for that #$%& building…it was there.
Aid Station 3 (Mile 46), my girls were there again to greet me and get me in and out. Just what I needed, some familiar faces. I was still feeling pretty good but my time had slipped more. I was 15 minutes over my target time, which left me feeling frustrated. I left the aid station with the support of the KSD girls (and Pat). Shortly after Aid Station 3 Mike was starting to suffer. This is the part of the race that really messes with your mind. I knew that each time he stopped to wait for me it was taking a toll on him. It is so important to keep moving. I told him to just go. I really wanted to finish the race together but I knew he needed to keep moving.
Aid Station 5 (Mile 56), based on the advice of my team mates, I rolled right through. No stopping for this one. Stopping this late in the race for a breather would just mess with my mind. All I could think of was getting across that finish line. I kept looking at my time. Why was my times so important to me? Because those were the goals I had set for myself for that day and I needed to hit them. As I rolled through Station 5, I noticed I had made up some ground and I was back on track.
PS – I beat my goal by 25 minutes.
- Michael Gottfried – Top 40 finish and a completion time of 8:30 for the 100 mile
- Kenny Kocarek – Under 6 hours on the SS and not have complete body failure trying to do so
- Vanessa Marts – Faster than last year – she beat her time by 30 minutes
- Tim Shepherd – 8 hours 12 minutes for the 100k
- Jim Costello – He climbed all the roads (last year he did not) and he did not doubt his abilities to ride a bike after Wilderness (last year he did)
- Tim Portman – Goal finish under 8 hours – finished in 6:31!! He also climbed the majority of the roads and everything in the state park. Most importantly he felt better and had more fun than in the past.
- Kevin Burgess – Goal 8 hours – beat it by 20 minutes and finished 2 hours faster than last year
- Rodney Lucketti – His goal was to show up this year, he did not. #wheresrodney #epicfail