Union, MS

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Missouri made us work for it today, no 15 MPH tail wind or negative elevation change, No Sir! Today I hit the wall, backed up and hit it again face first, but in the end managed to finish the day.

Today's ride wasn't our longest 126 miles, nor was it the largest climbing day (although it was close), it was simply steep rolling hills over and over and over again for 106 miles and man did it wear on me. We really crushed the first 40 miles or so in a paceline of three and average around 18.5 until the 9% grades began to wear on me. Around mile 50 I was wondering weather or not I would be able to finish the day as my legs began giving out on me and I was having trouble staying in the saddle on the climbs. At mile 72 (around 11:30) at the top of one of the steepest climbs 0f the day I was done, BONKED! Shaking and dizzy I quickly polished off 2 bottles of water and Clif twists energy snacks like they were candy trying to get sugar in my system. I decided to keep riding and was certainly struggling with the heat and humidity of the day, working to keep my eyes open while riding from heat exhaustion. At mile 82 our crew chief prepared snacks for us to keep our sugar levels high and we all devoured snacks and gatorade trying anything to give our bodies quick fuel to burn. 24 miles is what I kept telling myself, 24 miles I could do in my sleep by this point in the summer and little by little it became 12, then 6 and by 2:30 we arrived 105.8 miles to Union High School home of the Wildcats.

A generous sponsor had pizza waiting for us; it could've been the worst pizza in the world and it would've tasted like heaven to us (it was great pizza by the way). After showering and an afternoon nap we headed to downtown Union to Aggies where we had a delicious sponsored dinner. Everyone returned to lodging and participated in a midsummer ritual which really helped us re-center our attention on why were out here and how to make the most of our remaining time together.

We determines that today was physically the toughest day on the trip so far, it may be a combination of the wear and tear on our bodies or the constant exhaustion that we're facing but it really made us earn it today.

We did it tough, as a team we all finished after no one though that we would, we completed what may be the hardest day on the Journey of hope..... together.

A night on the Journey of Hope wouldn't be complete without ice cream and I'm proud to say I polished off a 2000 calorie large browie batter blizzard from Dairy Queen, and three volcano taco's from Taco Bell; I burned 6500 calories today I feel like I earned it.


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