Sunday, October 31, 2010
LIVESTRONG 2010 - Post Ride Thoughts And Good News!
Crossing the finish line was an awesome feeling. I managed to fight through all the negativity, pain, and tiredness and get to the end in one piece. It was very emotional for me, zipping across the line after almost 5 hours of wondering if I would actually get there.
One of the things I loved most about this ride was the quality of the people riding. Of course, I didn't meet everyone, but almost everyone who passed me (which probably WAS everyone, now that I think about it) had a word of encouragement for me. I must have looked like death toward the end, because when I stopped for a breather a couple of times, several people who passed me asked if I was okay or if I needed food or water. Rather than be embarrassed by this, I chose to express my gratitude for their caring and answered with humor and a big, tired grin, "I don't need food, but a new pair of legs would be just the thing right now."
Don't worry, I shared the love. I stopped to help a couple of people who had popped their chains and made sure to see if people who were stopped along the road were okay, just like others did for me. After all, if we don't take care of each other, who will?
Once I got to the finish line and met up with Sig again, I changed back into my comfy Sauconys and talked a bit about the ride. AM and her husband had crossed the line long before I did and had already left (AM wasn't feeling well), so I pulled out my phone from where it was clipped under my arm and tried to send her a text to let her know I had finished.
This is where dumbass thing #2 came back to bite me - my phone was dead. Not dead as in dead battery, but dead as in black screen of death. I figured it just got overheated after being under my arm for so long (who wouldn't?), so I took the battery out and put it back in. Ahhh, success: the screen lit up. If you now have or have ever had a Crackberry, I'm sure you'll know what I mean when I say I watched the hourglass spin for a good long time while the phone rebooted. I figured seeing the hourglass was actually a good thing this time, but no. The screen went dark again and I couldn't get it back on. The phone was beeping and buzzing, letting me know I had messages, but I couldn't access them. I figured things would be okay once it got cooled off (much like me!), so I put it in the backpack and forgot about it for a while.
Sig and I wandered around the venue for a while, checking everything out. Nissan and RadioShack had a pretty decent presence there, and I got Sig to take some photos of me standing next to one of the Team RadioShack cars as well as Lance's Unity bike, which was on display there. We were going to eat with our free meal tickets but the line at the food tent was about a mile long, so we decided to eat on the way back to the hotel. On the way out we stopped at the LIVESTRONG shop on site and checked out the gear. I already have plenty of LIVESTRONG shirts but Sig doesn't have any, so I had her pick one out and got it for her. She totally deserved it after hanging around taking pictures for 5-6 hours.
I also bought three Team Livestrong commemorative medals from the shop so me, Elianna, and Joyce could each have one. I gave Elianna hers at school on Tuesday and she was so excited she put it on and wore it all day. I gave Joyce hers when I saw her on Saturday (yesterday) and she was moved to tears. It was very cool to be able to give them these medals and let them know how much their strength and courage inspired me.
We stopped and grabbed a burger on the way back to the hotel, then headed on back so I could shower and change. Man, I was T.I.R.E.D. It's been a long time since I was bone tired like that. All I wanted to do was get out of my bibs and shoes and hop in the shower. It was VERY tempting to lay on the bed and fall asleep, but I forced myself to stay awake to avoid getting too stiff.
While Sig was getting cleaned up, I messed with my phone again and tried to get it to work but no luck. I plugged it in to the charger thinking maybe the battery really had run down and the home screen came on, but I couldn't access anything with the trackball. Nothing I did worked, so I figured the phone was toast. This is pretty much the sight I was treated to when I tried to get it to work:
Well, not really, but it's close enough. I guess it didn't care too much for being sweat on. Who knew?
We were both wiped out from the long day, so we decided to head over to Applebee's for dinner. We had intended to go to 6th Street in downtown Austin, but we were both so tired we decided to call it a night.
The next morning we headed to 6th Street, which is a historic district. It's also one of the coolest places in Austin, lined with all kinds of clubs and cool shops. Sig and I are both photographers and we absolutely love wandering around places and seeing what kinds of cool shots we can get. We spent almost two hours wandering around before going to get breakfast. It was just the thing I needed after a stressful Sunday!
Here are some 6th Street shots:
After we ate, we headed over to Lance's bike shop, Mellow Johnny's. I've always wanted to go there, and I was not disappointed. This is probably one of the coolest shops I've ever been to. We wandered around a bit and ended up buying a couple of things (a TRS team photo and an MJ's pub glass), but it was fun just looking around at all the stuff. I stepped out and took some shots of the MJ's sign (which I think is so cool), then we decided we'd had enough fun and headed home.
I'm very glad I did the ride this year. I wish I had been able to reach my fundraising goal...but even though I didn't, I appreciate so much those who donated to the cause and enabled me to participate in this great event. If you ever have the chance to participate in a LIVESTRONG Challenge, do it. It will be an experience you never forget.
That brings me to my GOOD NEWS. I had pretty much decided I wouldn't do the Livestrong ride again next year so I could focus more on local events, but when I mentioned this to Sig, she was disappointed because she wants to do the ride next year. SO - I have decided to enter to ride again next year after all. I think AM is going to do it again too, and we're going to try and add to our team so we can get more people involved.
I have more GOOD NEWS, but I'm going to keep it to myself for the time being. It's kind of personal and I'm not sure how to go about revealing it just yet. I will say, though, that I have been seriously inspired by one of my fellow bloggers and I'm going to take a page out of his/her book and...well....just stay tuned. All will be revealed in time.
Thanks for all the wonderful words of encouragement over the course of this year's journey. I'm excited about beginning a new journey, and I hope you'll stick with me as the face of the blog changes a bit. Hell, bring a friend! The more the merrier!
Until next time...