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Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Not a great night of sleep the night before the ride, but of course I fell asleep right before the alarm went off! I rolled out of bed and took a shower to wake up and dressed up in my CCC gear with my new LIVESTRONG socks. Then I just needed to get Nancy and Deb out of bed, but they kept their word and were ready to go! I guess they didn’t want to see me get stressed out and in a bad mood on this important day.

We left the hotel at 6 pm to get at the start of the ride around 6:30, with plenty of time to get ready. We met up with Mike, Steve, Will and Greg (the other 100 miler) from CCC, and then Vicky and Tish showed up to ride with me. Lance spoke shortly before the race and then ran the 5k in preparation of his NY marathon in November.

We got in our 100 miles line up, the horn sounded and off we went. Greg, Vicky, Tish and I stayed together and the first few miles, keeping an easy pace because it was very busy. My idea of the LIVESTRONGChallenge was a fun sort of easy 100-mile ride, but it seemed that Greg and Vicky had other ideas. Slowly the field stretched out and our pace picked up. We skipped the first rest stop and became part of a bigger peleton for a while and started talking with riders around us. It’s amazing how everybody was interested in each other and willing to help each other. We met Randy and Jared this way and they decided to stay with our little group and helped us a lot by taking their share riding in the wind and leading up the hills.

We took a quick refill and bathroom stop at rest-stop number 2 and back on the road again. The route was beautiful with some nice hills and the wind was not to bad and the temperature perfect. The speed was still nice and high and we worked well together in our group often combining power with others. Vicky got a flat, which with a little teamwork was fixed in no time. We stopped again at rest stop 4 for refills, a quick power snack and a restroom brake (important lesson learned on the road down to TX never let a good chance to pee you by!)

On the road again, we quickly fell back into our speed, legs cranking around and around! A nice long climb around mile 85 broke up our group so we slowed down to re-group and found an other rider had joined us. Vicky got an other flat, but luckily this time it was about 150 yards from the next rest stop. A small piece of glass was found and Vicky got a new tube, ready, set, go! Greg wanted to stop at the survivor rest stop but we couldn’t find the survivor part of the rest stop, so of we went again.

My legs started to feel stronger and stronger with the last 10 and than 5 miles to go. A voice from the back of our group asked us to slow down and enjoy the last miles, but that was just not an option for me. Vicky and Jared joined me attacking the last miles to the finish, and yes they were up hill, one more corner and there it was the finish! I steered through the survivor lane to get my yellow rose. My fan club was waiting for me cheering with a big sign and those yellow balloons!

Ride totals were: riding time 5h 34 min, total time 6 h, average watts 147, average miles 18.5 m/h and a total distance of 103 miles (according to Vicky’s bike computer)
Time for a lot of pictures and quick goodbyes. Thanks Greg, Vicky, Tish, Randy and Jared for riding with me, I had a fantastic experience, LIVESTRONG at it’s best!
Champagne brought by Nancy made the finish celebrations complete, to your health!
I found Colleen from the LAF, the Austin coach who adopted me and helped me out with a lot of patience, answering all my questions and supporting me all the way. We took some pictures in front of Lance’s picture on the LIVESTRONG truck. Thanks Colleen!

After a rest break at the hotel it was time to drop of my bike at Cathy’s and go out for dinner. We choose Mexican with an opportunity to sit outside and catch up on the experiences of the day.

A great day it was, for me. A perfect finish of a wonderful adventure; I’m a very lucky girl: being healthy enough to ride these 3 weeks, having all the support from family, friends and complete strangers! Thank you everybody that supported me in anyway, I love all of you!

I can’t wait for Thursday when I fly back to Austin for the Ride for the Roses weekend, which I get to share with my brother!


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