My Ride for Roswell Story
If you’ve been following along with Baby Doodah for the last month or so, you might have noticed my little request at the bottom, asking you to donate to my Ride for Roswell. Well, yesterday was the big event! I have to be honest, I wasn’t really nervous. There were a few things that I was over-thinking, but more than anything, I was looking forward to the ride.
I rarely wake up on my own, and almost always need my alarm, but for some reason I woke up independently, just a few minutes before my alarm was due to go off. I woke up feeling calm and ready for the emotions that were sure to come as the day wore on. I got up, spent some time with the book I am currently reading, The Compound Effect (which is so good). 6 am rolled around and I quietly got into the shower and started thinking about all the people that I would be riding for, of all the people who might benefit from the donations I collected (thank you to ALL my donaters). After my shower, things started to get real, Seamus pumped up my tires, I got Emmett ready (they were dropping me off), and quite quickly it was time to go.
When we got to the University of Buffalo (where the start and finish line are located), they dropped me off and I road away to the starting line. I took in the expo, bought a new pair of riding gloves and then, almost immediately, it was time for my races heat to line-up. It all happened so quickly, line-up announcements and boom, you’re off! I was blown away by how efficiently things ran.
My first 10 miles were a breeze. I was definitely working, climbing up a few small hills, but I felt good, strong! These 10 miles headed us out to the country, considering I was doing the 33 mile country ride, that didn’t come as any surprise.
At around mile 10, I stopped and had the most delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich I’ve ever eaten. Yummy!! I also chugged a bottle of water, had a granola bar and headed out for my second 10 miles. I felt on top of the world! I couldn’t stop smiling, thinking about the good I was doing. It warmed me inside, gave me chills… I felt powerful!
Then mile 17 hit and I started aching, not my legs or lungs, like you might think – but my upper back and butt were on fire. I was bound not to stop. I wanted to keep going, only stop at rest stops unless I really needed to. Thankfully, around mile 20 I saw the rest stop up ahead and motored on.
I chugged 1.5 bottles of water at this stop (I was sweating like crazy), had 1/2 a PB and jelly sandwich, 1/2 a banana and took a granola bar for the road. Since the pep in my step had dissipated about 3 miles earlier, I decided to chomp on two shot bloks, hoping it’d pep me up. Welp, it didn’t. It made me ragey and angry. I was irritated that I was hurting so much and still had 13 or so miles to go.
However, about a mile after that rest stop, a woman was about to ride by, yelled “on your left, but don’t worry, I’m slow and old.” It made me laugh, it was a conversation that was meant to happen. She road with me for a short while and the conversation we had was moving and gave me goose-bumps. She asked me who I was riding for, I told her, and I, in return asked her… She was riding for her granddaughter who was currently a patient at Roswell. I said how sorry I was and that I’d be thinking of her and her family, but she proceeded… She stated that right before our heat took off, she had gotten a phone call from her son. See, her granddaughter was having a bone marrow biopsy done, after having a bone marrow transplant a little while back. Her son had called to tell her that the results of the biospy were back… NO LEUKEMIA CELLS!!!!
I’ll let that sit a moment.
At a time when I was struggling to remember why I was riding, this woman just happened upon me, bursting to tell her story to someone who cared and would listen. She chose me. I was honored.
We both exclaimed we had chills from her story, we laughed and joked for another hundred feet more, but we hit a hill, I slowed to a crawl and she kept on. I silently cried, not because I was sad but because I was so so happy that this woman had been given good news and that her little granddaughter was currently showing no signs of cancer. It reminded me why I was riding and I rode on!
Isn’t that amazing??? I have chills and tears in my eyes, right now, just repeating the story to you.
My final rest stop was about 5 miles after the last one. I didn’t need to use the bathroom, but I still stopped because I wanted to give my butt and back a rest. It was called Candy land and they had all sorts of different candies available to eat, I just wanted something super sugary to help motor me through the final 7 miles. I grabbed a bag of Swedish fish and they were delicious. 🙂
Those final 7 miles were killer. There was almost no hills (which means no downhill, free riding) and none of the streets were completely blocked so there were lots of cars. They had cops and other people directing traffic at different lights, but once on a road, it was you, the other bikers and the cars. Either way, I had to really dig-in, to a place I don’t visit often. I had to force my mind to think of other things other than the pain I was feeling. I knew I was going to finish, there was NO question, but I didn’t want to stop… I wanted to keep on going.
And that I did, through 7, then 5, 4, 2 and finally .5 miles (I only knew the miles I was hitting if there were people directing traffic), I made it.
I crossed the finish line!
In front of me were the list of names spray painted onto the ground, and to my right was my husband and son, cheering me on. I cried. I was so proud of myself, and was moved beyond belief.
The whole day was perfect, I wouldn’t change a single thing. I like knowing how hard my body can work to help me reach my goals.
Will I do it again? Yes. Most definitely! I’ll either go shorter so that Emmett can ride with me, or I’ll go longer (since I’ll be in better shape by then).
Once again, thank you to ALL who sponsored me. You couldn’t have supported a better cause!