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MS Breakaway to Key Largo - Cycle

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Key Largo, FL
United States
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
75F / 24C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Having been sick for the past 5 days (chest cold), I was unable to keep my normal race routine. I went to bed early Friday, and woke up easily at 4am on Saturday, but was very congested. Did my best to prepare my bags, and all my gear. Took my meds. I had no appetite, and was a little nauseous, so I just left for the college without eating anything hoping I would feel better later. I was relieved to have gotten there early. Hardly had to make any lines for checking in. I have found that its best for me to be prepared, and on time to an event. It cuts down on the jitters big time. Once I was all settled, I ate a banana & drank a gatorade. I attempted a bagel, but... blech! Couldn't do it.
Event warmup:

My warm-up consisted of keeping warm, waiting around to see my friends and teammates. As the starting time got closer, I stretched a little. It was very chilly, and very windy. I wasn't too nervous because I had prepared the best I could. I mostly felt cold, and determined to do the best I could. Didn't see my friend Amy until she called on the cell. We waved to each other among the crowd. She confessed later she didn't think I would go b/c of how sick I sounded on the phone the day before. She was happy to see that I'd made it.
  • 3h 24m 23s
  • 34.23 miles
  • 10.05 mile/hr

I started the Tour at about 7:20am. I was an official member of the United We Ride team, but mostly rode by myself (they were all much faster). I told myself I would try to get to the first rest stop. The first mile I kept thinking, whoa... I'm actually doing this... I'm doing this. I think I finally got nervous at this point. I stopped, got off the bike, and checked the map. OK... so the first rest stop is 7.1 miles away. You can do that Cari... A volunteer saw me and said, "You've still got a long way to go hon." Funny guy. Anyway, I hopped back on. Was feeling good. Not coughing. Very chilly & windy (I know what you're thinking Scott(macaco), don't say it!). I'm riding through the streets, other cyclists are passing me by... I'm just keeping my pace. I kept a close eye on my HR. I made it to the first rest stop. Whew! I was so happy. I felt like I could go a little further. While at the rest stop, I got some air in my tires, drank some fluids, ate another half-banana. Hopped back on and kept going. I felt my confidence creeping back. My lungs were open and clear for the moment. HR was good, and if it got too high I slowed my pace. For the next 6.9 miles, I felt good. I made it to the next rest stop! God that felt really, really good. I took my time, drank some more fluids, had another half banana, refilled my water bottles, stretched... and decided to keep going. So I took off thinking this next stretch would be doable. About 2.5 miles into it, I hit a wall of wind. Holy fuck! We were in the Redlands by now, which is mostly farms, and no tall buildings. This really slowed me down. I had the bike in a lower gear for practically the next 4 miles. I got tired really fast. I kept checking the odometer and was counting the miles until the next stop. While nearly there, I had to stop and rest for a minute. Drank some gatorade hoping for a little energy. A support vehicle checked on me. But I told 'em I was getting myself to the next rest stop. And I made it! That was hard. While there, I saw a friend and we chatted for a bit. But all the talking got me a little out of breath, & coughing. I felt my chest slowly closing up. But the self talk stayed positive about my ability to keep going. I drank some more fluids, had a chewy granola bar (the other food choices all seemed yucky...) and decided to keep going. Alas, about 2 miles into the next stretch I decided to stop. The wind was still very strong, and I just didn't have the energy to keep going. I waved down a support vehicle, and spent most of the rest of the morning traveling from rest stop to rest stop via the support vehicle. Along the way, we picked up another rider who was unable to continue. I couldn't help feeling bad watching all of the riders still on the road, still struggling w/ every mile in the god-awful wind. I felt more dejected with each passing mile. And it only got worse after lunch while on the fucking Card Sound road. Its a two lane road, with the same scenery for what seemed like an unending number of miles. And I can't forget to mention the passing vehicles. It was just an awful stretch. I couldn't help feeling like a lazy ass for having stopping so early. While on the way to the 3rd to the last rest stop, after having passed my fellow riders struggling w/ the very steep bridge in a really strong cross-wind... I decided I would try again. I rode the next 12 miles (w/ one rest stop) w/out a hitch. Kept my pace, although it was a bit faster than earlier that morning. It was a damn good feeling riding through that finish line. I accomplished 34+ miles! Not the 50 I had trained for, and not straight-through, but considering my hacking cough, I'll take 'em. I felt so high from my finish that I wanted to attempt 25 miles on day two. Didn't happen. The next morning it was chillier than day one, much windier (duh... you're in the keys now), and woke up extremely congested, very nauseous... and upon arriving at the park from the hotel shuttle ride, I puked what little was in my stomach. OK... so my body had other plans. There's always next year.

PS. The entire event was extremely well organized. Except for the major wind, the weather was gorgeous. I couldn't have had a better time. There was a nice little beach party, w/ music and dancing. My friend Amy reached her goal of riding the 75 miles on day one, and another 25 on day two to boot. All in all, a very nice weekend.
What would you do differently?:

Pray a couple of holy rosaries that I wouldn't get sick right before an event.
Post race
Warm down:

Stretched out. Got some fluids. Went to my hotel & took a nice shower. My friend and I told each other our stories, and then took a powernap.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I had a fucking chest cold.

Event comments:

I can't say enough about how awesome this event was. This is the 19th year the South Florida chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has produced the Breakaway to Key Largo. It was extremely well organized, considering the massive logistics involved. Over 1650 riders participated. The volunteers worked their asses off! I made sure to tell the two ladies I know that are on the staff what a terrific job they were doing. I see myself doing this year after year, just like the many people I met who have done just that.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2005-02-08 12:00 AM
03:24:23 | 34.23 miles | 10.05 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong
Course: The course is mostly flat throughout South Miami-Dade, Homestead, and the Upper Keys. There is one steep bridge just past Card Sound road.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2005-04-17 11:07 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Miami, FL
Subject: MS Breakaway to Key Largo

As Dave Barry often writes, I am not making this up.  The following random quote was on the screen when I saved this race entry.  This is why I do not believe in coincidences...

Random quote: "Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”-William Shakespeare


Edited by carisima 2005-04-17 11:12 PM

2005-04-17 11:21 PM
in reply to: #143791

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Extreme Veteran
Fort Worth, TX
Subject: RE: MS Breakaway to Key Largo
Great job Cari!  I can't believe how strong you were to get out there when you had such a bad cold!

HossChick Nation rides again!
2005-04-17 11:58 PM
in reply to: #143791

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Golden Colorado
Subject: RE: MS Breakaway to Key Largo
Good job Cari..a lot of people would not have even tried with how sick you were....and there is nothing I hate more while riding than wind...Maybe next year you can do the MS 150 out here in's a bit more climbing but you should be ready for it by then.   I'm also glad that you didn't gt hypothermia..I'm sure those wind chills were brutal           Good luck on those rosaries...I need to get mine out and try to remember how to do it..I guess my name won't be on the top of the list for Pope next week.
2005-04-18 5:33 AM
in reply to: #143791

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Jacksonville, FL
Subject: RE: MS Breakaway to Key Largo
Great job. That is a good cause. I would have stayed in bed.
2005-04-18 6:22 AM
in reply to: #143791

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Resident Curmudgeon
The Road Back
Gold member
Subject: RE: MS Breakaway to Key Largo
WTG Cari! Great ride, way to overcome the obstacles and find a way to finish. Stick with it , girl!

Edited by the bear 2005-04-18 6:22 AM
2005-04-18 6:51 AM
in reply to: #143791

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Mechanicsburg, PA
Subject: RE: MS Breakaway to Key Largo
Awesome job Hoss Chica!!! Good for you for knowing well enough to bag the second day. You did what you could without doing (much) further harm to yourself and it looks like you buoyed your spirits by doing what you were able to. You've had some rough weeks leading up to this that kept you from spending as much time on the bike as I know you wanted to, but you still went out there and did what you could. Way to go!


2005-04-18 7:55 AM
in reply to: #143791

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Boulder, CO
Subject: RE: MS Breakaway to Key Largo
Hey girl, what a story! Good work and really amazing job. I can't believe you got out of the support vehicle to finish the ride. I admire your determination. I will tuck that story in my memory and pull it out when I need some inspiration. Thanks for being such a positive role model for me. I hope you are feeling better and RESTING ---
2005-04-18 10:25 PM
in reply to: #143791

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: MS Breakaway to Key Largo

These weren't "baby steps"... they were huge strides!

Congrats on going out there and overcoming obstacles, Cari! You're truly amazing. I'm positively sure you'll be out there next year completing the course.


2005-04-19 8:17 PM
in reply to: #143791

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Broomfield, Colorado
Subject: RE: MS Breakaway to Key Largo

Girl, plain and simple, YOU ROCK!   Nice ride, great report...I'm still laughing that the words "rosary" and the f-word are in the same report....  that's pretty funny! 

NICE work!  You did great Hoss Chick!

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