Back to life...back to reality...

That was one of my favorite tunes back in the late 80s.  I guess that makes me old when a 20 year old song still seems "modern."

That song title really sums-up how I feel today.  What a crazy, long, exhausting, fun weekend.

EARLY Saturday AM found DH sending-off the One Day Ride Across MI (ODRAM) (From the shore of Lake MI in Montague across to the shore of Lake Huron in Bay City) folks.  After the riders had all left he came home, showered, loaded our bikes into the car, and we headed-off to follow the course (dropped DS off at grandma's on the way out), see if any riders needed assistance, and finish painting the last bit of the course before riders came through.

It was a beautiful day for a road trip.  Really cool to see most of the riders out on those backroads in the middle of MI, too.  The lead guy actually finished before we were able to complete painting.  His average pace was 19mph, which is FAST for 147 miles.  I don't bike that fast for 10 miles!  He has done the ride before, from the sound of it, and claimed that he was having an off day and has been faster in the past.  Wow.

I helped unload the food and drinks for the post-ride BBQ from our friend Rob's SUV and then Derek and I headed backwards on the course to see if we could meet up with friends and ride with them back towards the finish.  I wanted to ride 25-30 miles, so the plan was to go 12-15 miles, then turn back if we didn't find anyone.

12.4 miles in we met up with our friends Cindy and Herb.  We turned-around and rolled back with them.  They were both wiped-out and sore, but seemed to really appreciate the company and the pull into the finish.  Not long afterwards other friends of ours rolled-in.  This group rode BACK to this side of the state, yesterday (they called it MARDO: Mad Ass Ride Do-Over...with good reason.  294 miles in 2 days will certainly make one's butt and nether-regions REALLY angry).

The BBQ was really nice and gave the riders a chance to relax with each other, since many never met at the start or along the course.  At 8pm a chartered bus took many riders back to their vehicles at the start (others had friends or family provide SAG support along the course and a ride back home afterwards).

I think I will do this ride, next year.  At least one friend who rides at about the same pace I do (and is hilarious and super fun to spend hours with) is planning on riding next year, so I would have company.

Derek and I left just before 8:30 to make the trip home.  We decided to stick mostly to interstates to get home, figuring that would be faster, but we likely would have saved time by retracing the course.  MI has lots of great North-South interstates, but almost nothing that goes directly East-West, unfortunately.  The route we took angled up to the NW, then we had to drop a long ways South to get home.  Our actual drive time was probably in the 3 hour neighborhood.  It was a long, dark, exhausting drive home. Our in-car time for the day was ~8 hours.

By the time we arrived home, unpacked the car a bit, showered (since we didn't shower after our ride on the end of the course, simply changed out of our cycling gear), and got to sleep it was approaching 2am.  No biggie, except for the fact that yesterday we had plans to take part in a challenging, hilly 75 mile bike ride (the MOST: Muskegon-Oceana Scenic Tour).

So when I was awakened by a text message at 7am I was in rough shape.  I still had to get to the store to pick up a few things, get dressed, and eat breakfast before we could ride.  Hubby and I wanted to leave the house by 9 to bike over to the tour start a mile away to meet with friends.

We arrived at the start and got off a bit late (one friend was running behind, which was fine...everyone got in extra potty stops before we rolled).  Those early miles were rough (hilly and with a brutal headwind). Never have I felt so completely lacking in energy and strength on a ride.  I hit a bit of a 2nd wind just after the first SAG stop, which was good.  Green grapes seem to be magical.

I felt better as the ride went on, but it was still not my most enjoyable ride, ever.  In some ways it was harder than my first century ride.  I was so run-down and the hills and wind really took a lot out of me.  Thankfully the last third or so of the ride is less hilly and the wind was no longer in our faces.

Because it was a tour with 3 distances the lunch stop was fairly late in the day for the 75 milers.  We only had about 13 miles to go after lunch.  Getting some solid calories and protein in me really made a difference, though.  I felt a lot stronger for those last 13 miles than I did for the first 13.  It didn't hurt that we had a good tailwind, some gradual downhill grade, and were on familiar riding routes for me.

Instead of going back to the start I headed home (still got in the full 75 miles) so that I could shower and get our babysitter home.  Derek met back with our friends at the starting point, then returned home to find out that our MARDO friends were not too far away.  So he rode back out to meet them and ride them in.  He managed 113 miles for the day, I believe.

So today is a little surreally quiet after the excitement of the previous 2 days.  I had plans to do my upper body weight workout and a short run, but I think I will manage only the run.  The left side of my neck is sore...I think from a combo of too much time in the car, yesterday's ride, and sleeping too much on my left side while in my coma-like sleep, last night.  Even with a solid night of sleep I still can't seem to ingest enough caffeine to make me feel fully awake.

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