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Texas Time Trials 24 hr - Cycle

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Cleburne, Texas
United States
Lone Star Randonneurs
75F / 24C
Total Time = 23h 20m 57s
Overall Rank = 1/2
Age Group = F20-29
Age Group Rank = 1/1
Pre-race routine:

I know, I know...two weeks late. I'm sorry. Anyways, here's your boring report. And I know it may be long, but it was 24 hrs people, lots of stuff. However, it's funny how much I forget already so I'm sure I will have to edit this as I think of more, but for now, here's the nitty-gritty to get y'all off my case :)

Geez, where to even start. I can't believe it's already come and gone and what an event it was! The crazy idea of doing this race back in the spring, to the buying of all of the gear (who knew riding required so much stuff!), reading everything I could get a hold of on ultracycling, to the long hours in the saddle, it had finally arrived and yet, I still had no idea of what to expect.

Dwight and I loaded up and set out on our voyage at about 9:30 am Friday morning. Poor, poor Dwight, having to sit in the car with me for that long, listening to hysterical meltdown episodes and my fast driving (at least that's what he says...I drive perfectly fine, thank you very much). So far, I have not seen any ill-effects from the trip in Dwight, so I think he's in the clear. I wanted to be at the course right then, yet at the same time, I wished that time could just stand still, just a little bit longer. We stopped in Cedar Hill and ate at the Macaroni Grill. I ate all of my meal and lots of bread and drank lots of tea. At the end, the waiter tries to convince me to order a big slice of cheesecake, too cruel! Then he's like, "Well, how about getting it to go and you can eat it in front of the TV tonight." Buddy, I'm not going to be seeing my couch or TV for a long time! We step out of the restaurant and Dwight says, well, at least it's not windy (The flags were at full attention...he can be such a smart a$$ sometimes). The tension continues to build and I knew we were only about 30 min. away from Cleburne. We ended up taking the business road through Cleburne and catching lots of lights and delaying my arrival at the course. We stopped at a gas station and loaded up on ice and Dwight got a sandwich to eat for dinner. Then it was back on the road and we quickly approached Park Rd. 21. This was it, I was almost scared to look. I kept watching for cyclists to know when I had reached part of the course. Then, all of a sudden, there they were, making a right turn on to another road. I look down it and it looks pretty flat. Okay, that part looks pretty good. We continue heading to the New Hope Baptist Church (race headquarters). I had read any and all race reports on this event and looked at the topo of the course. I knew, that we basically had an 8-9 mile climb for the first part of every loop. Well, here we go, down, down down and I'm watching the 500 mile people crawl ever so slowly up the hill. Man, they're going slow, Dwight! Is that what I'm going to look like? Is the hill that bad? Omg, I'm going to die! Dwight says, "Look, there's a downhill section!" Great, I'll see how fast I can get on all two feet of that downhill, perhaps I can get up enough momentum to carry me another 4 miles. Another thing I notice about the course is that there are big trucks, lots of them and they are roaring by the cyclists. This could be interesting. We finally come around a curve and there's the church and it's pretty packed. We find an awesome parking spot though, right next to the road, just a few cars down from the timing clock. I pull in and turn off the car. I look to my right and there is a guy sitting in his truck with a RAAM jersey on. I immediately got dizzy, seriously felt sick to my stomch, thought I was going to pass out. Why I get so nervous about races, I don't know, but it's been this way ever since my first cross country races back in high school, but this is by far the most nervous I have ever been, worse than before the half-IM even. So, I had to sit a few minutes and just take a few deep breaths. Finally, Dwight prodded me to go look for a place to set up my tent. We walked to where the majority of the tents were, but it was already packed so we walked to the back of the lot and I found a nice spot away from most people (later on there would be more tents near mine). So, we got the tent set up and started unloading clothes, etc. It's amazing to see how everyone does things. Some people had nice RV's, while others had small little 2-man tents and then some just slept in cars. I had a 5-man tent, which was plenty of room. Check-in wasn't until 3:30 or so and it was only about 2:00 so I decided I would try to get a nap while Dwight did some reading. Yeah right, sleep! Like that was going to happen! Luckily, Kristen called and gave me an excuse to get up and move around. Once 3:30 rolled around we went to grab my race packet and number. That took all of 2 seconds, so there was still just waiting, waiting, waiting. I went through my packet and looked at all the free goodies we got. Lots of mini clif bars and hammergel packets, cool.

Aside: While doing all of this walking around and waiting, I saw Eileen Steil, the person who sparked my interest in ultratriathlons and cycling and she was hurt. Evidentally she had an injured achilles or something, she only rode 160 miles in the 500 mile event and was going to drop out of that and then enter the 12 hour ride the following day. I wanted to talk to her, but she seemed busy and I was busy. Then, there were these handcycling guys there. They were going to have 2-two man teams in the 24 hr ride. They were having a documentary done on them and are planning to try to qualify for RAAM in the future. These guys were amazing, they did everything themselves, from setting up their RV to getting their bikes ready, etc.
Event warmup:

Finally, a little after 4:00, I decided it was time to get things set up. I changed into my cycling clothes and started putting the bike together. During my workouts, I was planning to be by myself, without a crew, so I showed Dwight the food, ride log, and how I wanted my drinks (shaken, not stirred, lol...I crack myself up). I went to the bathroom and painted on the chamois butter. Oh yeah, I stuck with my usual routine of powerbar 3 hours before, pb crackers 1:30 before race start. It started to get close to time for the pre-race meeting and my hands were starting to shake. I couldn't decide whether or not to put the lights on my bike yet or not, but then decided to go ahead and put my headlight on (backlight was already on) just in case I ran into trouble on the first lap and it took me longer than expected to come back around. Dwight carried my bike to the start for me and we waited for instructions. Supposedly there were 18 of us, which is way more than the 5 I saw signed up on the website. After looking around and noticing that most people had their goober gear on, I had Dwight run back and grab my vest for me (ankle bands were already on). It's interesting to see how people equip their bikes with lights and reflective gear. One guy had two lights attached to his fork, and then two more on his handlebars. One guy had his entire helmet wrapped in reflective tape. Man, perhaps I needed more. I had two headlights just in case I felt like I needed both, but I always just used one headlight in practice along with my helmet light and I was fine. They then gave us the instructions in the pre-race meeting and to be honest, I don't remember any of it, I know I was listening, but my brain was already in freakout mode. I did know that we were allowed to draft to the first stop sign on the first lap, then it was everybody to themselves. Everyone seemed so carefree and relaxed, but I just stared at the clock and watch the minutes tick by until we were up. I finally saw Nancy too, man she looked tough and she wasn't messin' around, she walked up to the front of the group and planted her bike in front of everyone. I thought it would be best to start in the back of the line so I marched to the back of the pack. I knew everything there was to know about Nancy and anyone else who did this ride last year. I knew she had the course record, had won Furnace Creek, was a 24 hr national champion, her list goes on and on. I could probably rattle out her lap splits from last year as well. Why I felt the need to know everything possible about last year's race and everyone who competed in it, I don't know...I guess somehow I thought it would help prepare me more. Actually, I think it just freaked me out more because I knew just how hoss everyone was.
  • 23h 20m 57s
  • 340 miles
  • 14.56 mile/hr

3...2...1! And we were off! Not very fast though, whew. Nancy was like, "Woohoo, let's go everybody!" I was just thinking, this woman is way too excited about this; here I am just trying to keep my lunch down. So anyways, here we go on our little journey. Nancy is leading the pack and we are going so slow, at least, that's what it felt like. I was overanalyzing everything...Man, this is really slow, or is it just that I feel like I'm going slow. But we're only going like 14 mph, but maybe you have to go that slow to survive 24 hrs. Nancy is standing up...should we be standing up on this climb? I don't feel like I need to stand, the boys aren't standing, but maybe women should stand. Wow, most of these people have a slower cadence than me and people say I'm a pedal masher. Is it better to have a slower cadence in this stuff? Man, it's too quiet, why won't anyone say anything? Would they think I was stupid if I said something? I better just shut up, I have no idea what I'm doing. Good, no one has disk wheels, because I don't have disk wheels and I didn't want to feel stupid for not having them. Why am I out here again?! Surely someone held me at gunpoint and made me do this...I wouldn't do this on my own, would I?! AGGGHHHH! Okay, Gina...breathe! I was actually looking forward to the end of the draft zone just so I could get away from everyone and just do my thing. By drafting, I was so concerned about doing the right thing, down to when I should exhale. We continued to go at what seemed like a crawl. Finally, one of the guys jumped around Nancy, and another guy went with him. So, then I jumped and went with them and another guy behind me came too. I had no idea if this was smart or not, but I told myself that if I went too fast on the first lap, it was okay and then I could settled down for the remainder of the ride. We moved at a much more comfortable pace for me. However, as the hill pitched steeper the guys in front of me kept going at that pace. Okay, let's not get stupid here...I know I shouldn't be going THAT fast, so I pulled out of the line to let the guy behind me go around me and go with the two guys in front of me. However, the guy behind me just stuck to my wheel. Alright buddy, stay where you're at, but this chica is riding relaxed. We continued to crank away until we hit the right turn. Our lead vehicle had stopped at the corner and the guy had gotten out and was directing us where to go. The guy behind me yells to the guy, "Is this the end of the draft zone?" No, you have until the stop sign. So, this guy continues to stick to my wheel. I liked this road, definitely able to move at a nice clip. We approached the stop sign and the guy who had been drafting off of me the entire time, comes flying around me and he was off. You're welcome!! Geez, just use me and take off, men! He was smart, I probably should have slowed down and forced him to take the lead, but oh well. Finally, all by myself! I was already breathing easier. The backside of the course was a blast...well, the first lap of it was anyways. Nice rolling hills, I cruised on the first lap. So many people complained about the lack of scenery and ugly course, but I thought it was gorgeous, but then again...I'm transplanted West Texan so I appreciate barren beauty. However, it really wasn't that barren to me. At the tops of the hills, you could see forever through the valley's and the fields were so pretty in fall colors and the few trees that were there were turning colors too. It was actually very calm and soothing. Towards the end of the lap there is this really nice downhill...straight down and you can hit 30 mph just coasting, it was awesome. You could see the church off in the distance from the top of it. I roared down the hill, and then it flattened out before another nice curving downhill to a creek and then you had a short climb back out. I climbed up the short hill and popped out at the start/finish area. Wow, here already?! You had to call out your number as you passed by. So, gave my shout-out of 1-2-2 as I went by. During the course of the 24 hrs, I would realize just how difficult this could be at times. For some reason, I always wanted to say 1-1-2. So, everytime I hit the creek, I would start thinking, alright, what's my number? It was like your parents when you were a little kid, "Now Gina, what do you tell the nice lady?" Thank you. Now it was, "Gina, what do we say to the nice timekeepers?" Dwight was telling me that one of the 500 mile guys came by the clock and just stopped and said, "I don't remember my number." He had already rode over 24 hrs so had to of called it out over a dozen times. Poor guy. I'm telling you, this stuff can make you loopy!

So anyways, here I was, back to my car in roughly 1:02. I pulled over and quickly put my helmet light on, slammed a granola bar, and then I was on my way again for round two. The laps quickly start to run together, and I don't remember a lot of details, so I'll just try to recap what I remember. This next lap we of course started losing daylight. I turned my lights on about halfway through. It was a nice West Texas-like sunset. Nothing exciting on this lap. I just made sure to tell anyone that I passed, "Good job" or "Way to go" etc. By the end of the event I was like, man, I've got to learn some more motivational lines. My second lap was in 1:07 or so. Dwight said he was getting worried about me. Well, I no longer have a draft (okay, not that I had much drafting in the first lap) and I have to slower at night. Plus, I can't maintain near 20 mph for this entire thing. This break I went to the bathroom, ate some cheeze-its and put on socks. Oh yeah, we decided to switch out batteries every two laps whether my lights were going out or not. I wanted the brightest light possible...I bought lots and lots of batteries, enough to energize a small city. Also, my water bottles were changed out every two laps; therefore drinking approximately one bottle per lap. One bottle was water, and the other was perpetuem. I tried to drink about half of each on each lap.

Alrighty, things going smoothly back out again for lap 3. Nothing remarkable on this lap. I went to take a drink from my "energy drink" bottle and discovered that it was water. Dwight accidentally put two water bottles on my bike. No big deal, we'll get it corrected on the next lap. This lap was in 1:09, so getting a little slower. I switched out the water bottle for a perpetuem bottle and here I go again.

Lap 4 was in 1:10. My rest breaks between each lap were between 5-10 minutes. I really wanted them closer to 5 minutes, but most times that just didn't happen, oh well. At the end of this lap is where we had a minor glitch. As I mentioned previously we were switching out batteries every two laps. Well, since I had two headlights, I was just switching out headlights every two laps so that Dwight would already have the batteries in them. Well, one of my headlights I discovered was screwing up, it just kept flickering. No big deal, we'll just stick with the one headlight and keep switching out batteries in it. Well, we unscrew the light, change the batteries and try to screw it back on. Well, for some reason it wasn't wanting to screw back on. Dwight would try until I yelled at him for me to try. And here comes the breakdown. I literally started crying...over a stupid light. I felt like it was taking an eternity (for the record, this rest stop took a total of 8 minutes, definitely no reason for my temper-tantrum). I'm an anal engineer and when things don't go according to plan, I tend to panic. I've got to learn to just take a deep breath, calm down, and look for a solution to the problem, crying accomplished nothing. I was just so nervous about this race to begin with though. Anyways, Dwight finally shoved me away from the bike and takes a closer look at the lights. He then realizes there is a clip on the thing; therefore, no reason to unscrew it every time, it will slide out of its clamp and then slide it back in. So, all we had to do was get the clamp screwed back on and then from that point, the light could just slide out to change it. Okay, so I'm an engineer, but I'm also a girl. When the lights came in the mail, I just put them on and didn't really go through the instructions. And besides, I'm a civil engineer, mechanics aren't my strong point :) So, Dwight finally got it screwed in. I practically yanked the bike away, jumped on and took off. I got a little ways down the road and was like, something feels different. I had forgotten to put my gloves back on (I took them off to work with the light). I go a little further and was like, wow, it sure is clear out here now. I forgot to put my glasses back on. Okay, seriously need to calm down and THINK. Luckily there wasn't a lot of bugs and stuff out that night to worry about getting in my eyes, but climbing up to the limestone quarry was bad. It literally felt like it was snowing at times with that stuff blowing around. I would hold my head down as long as I could and then glance up briefly to make sure I was on track. Once I got past the quarry I was fine. Speaking about the quarry (I apologize for my completely random thoughts throughout this thing), it was dusty, loud, and bright. It was like daylight around that thing with all of the lights. It was right next to the road and even had a chute going over the road to the other side. You would hear the stuff moving across overhead and I would think, man I hope that stuff doesn't fall on me. Trucks were constantly turning in and out of that thing, even throughout the night. There were also two oil/gas well things that were really bright on the course. One of them was really loud, you could here them talking over a speaker or something. Other than those three areas, it was pitch black out there, as some would say..."darker than the inside of a cow." Several racers complained that they had trouble seeing. My lights worked great and with the reflective strips on the road I was fine. The only problem area was the short little road between Park Rd 21 and FM 1434. This was a small narrow road with no reflective stripping. It's weird, but the reflective stripping seems to provide lots of light. Without it, it's really dark. So, on that stretch I would constantly scan with my helmet light from side to side to pick up the treeline/edge of road. That reminds me of something else. It was really weird seeing little red lights from the other cyclists and then you could see people scanning with their helmet lights too. It was just strange because you couldn't see the bikers from a distance, just the lights. I was so used to riding by myself at night it was cool to have others out there. I remember one time when I was climbing 9-mile hill (that's what I began calling the horrible climb at the beginning of each lap), I saw this red light and it was jerking from side to side. I was thinking, oh no, one of the 500 mile guys has really lost it and is riding worse than a drunken sailor and is about to go over. As I approached the cyclist though, I realized they were standing up; therefore, the jerking that I saw was just how the bike looks going from side to side from a standing climb. Your mind really plays with you out there, start thinking all kinds of crazy things. Anyways, where the heck was I?! Oh yeah, lap 5...I did this lap in 1:04, my second fastest lap of the entire 24 hours. I guess I was so flustered after the previous pit stop that I was just going on emotion. I came back to the start/finish and jumped off the bike and began apologizing to Dwight profusely. Poor guy, he's apologizing like crazy to me. It was worse than some sappy Romance movie. We both felt so bad. But enough of that, it's done, we've got the kinks worked out now, and things are going well. I did 100 miles in just over 6 hours. I wasn't tired or anything, but since I had practiced with several extended breaks, I felt like I should take a longer break at this point.

Other things about the first 6 hours: While there were fewer big trucks at night, there were still big trucks going by and man did they haul by you. When I would hear one coming I would just be thinking, "Please see me, please see me, please please see me." And is bad that when I saw a cyclist I would try to pass them quickly so that I would know that I had someone behind me when cars came up from behind? Not that I wanted them to get hit or anything, but I just felt like I had a little bit of security with extra lights behind me. Oh, and you realize just how great all of this reflective wear stuff is. When approaching cyclists, my ights would pick up their reflective vests, etc. and they were really bright. That also made me feel a little more at ease because I never knew what I looked like while riding at night. The moon seemed to take forever to come up, but once it did, it made things slightly brighter. Oh, and then there was the wind that I mentioned at the beginning of the day. That first lap was really windy, but as soon as the sun went down, the wind died down as well, whew! Temperatures: Dwight said several people got cold as soon as the sun went down and he kept asking me if I was cold. I felt fine, for some reason, I really heat up on the bike. As I mentioned before, I put on socks on lap two and then somewhere in there I added my arm warmers, but other than that I was still in shorts and short-fingered glvoes and was fine. Other people were really bundled up. Alrighty, I think that's all of my observations for the first 100 miles...those first laps really went by fast, no problems other than the minor problems during my pit stops.

So, it's now a little after 11:30. I grab my tights and fleece top and head to the bathroom. I then go to the tent, change into my warmer gear, set my timer for 30 minutes and lay down. Again, did I honestly think I was going to sleep?? After a couple minutes of laying down, here come the shakes. So, I'm so glad I decided to get off the bike so that I could shake for a half hour. Finally, the timer went off...just as Dwight was walking down to make sure I was up. Alrighty, I'm coming.

Time to get cranking again. Oh, just so you know, even if I don't mention it, I did eat something at each break. Dwight made sure I ate and kept up with my calories to make sure I was getting in enough. So, it was around 12:20 in the morning and now it was cold. As I mentioned, I had on my tights (the lined ones) and my fleece and I put on my full fingered gloves and shoved off. As I was climbing for 9 miles I started to get hot. Super hot, holy cow I was dying. All I could think about was getting back to the car so that I could take this stuff off. I cooled off a little on the backside, especially coming into the felt like 30 degrees cooler down there. However, I knew I had to get into some lighter stuff. Oh, another random I came around each lap and yelled out my number at the timers, Dwight would hear my number and then turn on the flashlight and kind of direct me to the car. My car was only a few cars down from the clock, but for some reason it never was where I thought it was so I was really greatful that he was looking for me and helped guide me, it was awesome. Anyways, so back at the car I switched into my jacket and short-fingered gloves. I went ahead and kept the lined tights on, simply because it would have taken a few minutes to switch them.

After changing clothes I took off again and felt so much better. The motivation for this lap: Kristen was coming!! I knew that she should be at the start/finish by the time I got back around. Sure enough, I came in about 2:50 and there she was, Woohoo! It's amazing how people can lift your spirits up. I still can't believe she came straight from work, and had no sleep. Unfortunately, I only got to chat with her a few minutes before I needed to get moving again.

What lap is it now? Oh, lap 8. Here's something for you: laps 6-16 were all between 1:10-1:12. How's that for consistency? Don't remember anything on lap 8. As I came in from this lap, I know what? I haven't seen a single animal and I haven't had a dog chase me. Should have kept my mouth shut.

Here goes lap 9. As I'm climbing 9-mile here comes a dog after me. It was quite the pathetic attempt though. What is this Mr. Dog?! I totally saw you coming. Don't you know anything about the sneak attack?! You're supposed to sneak up from behind until I hear the clicking of the nails and then you bark just as you get to my ankle. You don't even have a wingman! And, you couldn't catch me and I'm going uphill! Pathetic, truly pathetic...go take lessons from the Longview dogs and then come talk to me! The dog didn't even startle me. So, on my merry way. Oh, but there was something else interesting about this lap. As I was on the backside, I hear a car coming. So, I move as far to the right as possible, grip the handlebars, and say my "Please don't hit me prayer." Here comes the car, but it's not going around me, it pulls up beside me. The window then goes down and this lady starts yelling at me, "Y'all doin' a marathon or somethin'?!" Umm, yes ma'am. "Y'all gunna get youselves killed out here! This here road's dangrous!" Okay. "Who's in charge of this?!" Like she was going to do anything about it, but I tell her. "Well, y'all shouldn't be out here!" Okay, thank you. And off the looney lady went. Allrighty, then. I believe I'll just keep on pedalling back to the start line. As I came back to the line, the 12 hr people were lining up and getting ready to go. Yep, I was only half way. I had ridden 180 miles though, so not too bad, especially since 90% was at night. I'm slower at night simply because you never know what animal is going to jump out in the road. So, unfortunately, this means taking out all the fun of the downhills. After playing WWF with the animals in Longview, you learn to slow down. I wasn't tired of dying by a drunk driver, if I died, it was going to be from impaling an animal.

Lap 10. Motivation for this lap: It was the last lap in the dark!! I love nightriding, but after awhile, you get tired of looking through a little white hole, you hate fearing the animals, and I just wanted to feel sunshine again. I saw a skunk on this lap. He came out into the road, but as soon as it saw my lights, he quickly did a 180 back into the grass. So, the lone dog and skunk were the only animals I saw the entire night (other than the cows that I could hear mooing in the fields). I would see more animals than that in 5 minutes of riding in Longview. I came back around to the start/finish and I was so ecstatic to get off the bike for awhile. It was around 6:50 in the morning, so still dark there. I told Dwight and Kristen that I was not getting back on until there was sun, no more lights for me!

I decided trying to sleep was retarded, so thought I would just hand out with Dwight and Kristen for a little bit. They discovered a fire down at the outdoor pavilion so we went down and sat by the fireplace. Ahhh, absolute heaven! I still got the shakes though, my body is so stupid. Kristen found someone's blanket and gave it to me to wrap up with. Someof the handcyclists were down by the fire too, so it was nice talking to them. It was also breakfast time. The church was making pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, the works for all the crew, volunteers, and riders if they wanted it. Dwight snagged me a pancake and I must say that is the best pancake I have ever eaten in my life. Dwight kept going out and looking at the sun, and finally he came back and said, "Okay, the sun is up enough so that you don't need lights." Okay, cool. I continued to sit. "No, really, it's up." Alright already, I'm moving! I change clothes, but keep on tights and a jacket. I walk to the car where Dwight quickly has my bike out on the road. Dwight wasn't messin' around, he had big plans for me, lol. I get back on the bike and it's time for lap 11.

Sunshine! Glorious sunshine! It's like a recharged battery, I felt great on that lap. I came back in and Dwight asked if I was ready to shed my clothes, but it still felt cool to me, so decided to hang on to my warm clothes for one more lap.

Lap 12: More motivation: My mom was supposed to be coming sometime in the morning. You will notice that I'm always looking for things to work towards, something to look forward to. It helps the time go by quicker. Anyways, sure enough, as I'm climbing 9-mile I see my mom driving down. A little about the mom situation: My mom, as well as the rest of my family, think I'm crazy and don't understand my obsession with swimming, cycling, and running. They dred the thought of coming to my long boring races. My mom asked what I wanted for my birthday and so I broke down and told her that I wanted her to pretend that she cared about what I did and to come out and watch me. Since it was in Cleburne, it was only about 2.5 hours from Abilene, where my mom lives. She agreed. I tried to warn her that this was a long event. My family complained about watching me run in the Abilene marathon, which was less than 5 hours. She still agreed, allrighty, she's been warned. I told Dwight to help explain things to her to try to keep her involved. You see, not only does my family hate this stuff, they know nothing about it. Enough about my mom, at least I was getting to see her. I continued on my lap. Towards the end, I saw a fox go across the road, that was neat. I then popped back up to the start/finish and was greeted by everyone. It was now time to change into the short stuff, woohoo! I love shedding stuff off, makes you feel lighter.

Lap 13: With each pedal stroke I was now going further than I had ever gone in the past. During my longest workout in preparation for this ride, I rode 229 miles. Here I sat at 240 and it was just after 10:00 am. So, I already had a PR in the bag, which was nice. On this lap, the wind started to pick up slightly, but really not bad at all, especially when compared to yesterday. I don't remember anything interesting on this lap, but I was starting to feel worn down. Little aches and pains were creeping in. I do remember how I felt like the sun was falling rather than rising. My sense of time was all out of whack. I finished this lap a little after 11:15. Kristen was awesome, she would mssage my neck and shoulders after every lap. I had the best crew ever!

Lap 14: This is where my mental game cracked. It's funny because there would be times that I felt so worn out and I would think to myself, just take this next lap nice and easy, no one says you have to hammer every lap. Just about everytime I went out I would tell them, "Okay, I'm going to go slower this lap, so don't panic if I'm not here when you expect me." They would always be like, yeah right because for some reason no matter how easy I went, I came in between 1:10-1:12, you could bet your life on it. I think that it all evened out because if I went slower in one area, I felt better on other areas of the course. Anyways, back to my mental breakdown...I finished this lap, which gave me a grand total of 280 miles, something I never I imagined I could do. However, it was definitely new territory, I was getting tired, I was achy, and if I had to look at 9-mile much more I was going to go insane. So, I decided to take a breather and break for 20-25 minutes. At this point, I knew that tying the course record was a done deal, heck, breaking the record was as good as mine as long as I didn't crash or anything. I went to the bathroom during my break and Dwight walked to the bathrooms with me. I asked Dwight, "Dwight, can I just do two more laps? I know I probably have enough time to do three, but I just don't want to. Can I quit with 320 miles?" Now let's think about this, can I ONLY ride 320 miles? Ha ha, man, I really am crazy. Dwight was very nice and said, of course, this is your race and you are doing awesome. We will all be impressed no matter how far you ride. That eased my mind and I came back, chit-chatted for a little bit. Oh, and this is where I decided to pull out the secret weapon...chocolate, oh yeah! After having a couple of mini hershey bars, I decided life could go on and I headed back out on the bike.

Lap 15: Here is was, I was going to tie the women's course record! Is this really happening? I started out pretty conservative on this lap, but once I got to the backside, I became rejuvinated. At this time, everyone was on the course, 500 milers (those not finished yet), 24 hr, 12 hr, and the 6 hr. So there were finally lots of people out, which are rabbits to me. On the backside I passed so many people and cycling was fun again! I came back in and was so excited, hey, this show ate over yet! As I sat on this break, I realized I had over 3 hours left. Therefore, after the next lap I would have almost 2 hours left. I can't leave that much time on the table...this isn't a 22 hr ride, it's 24 hrs. So, I told my crew, "Guys, I hate to say this, but I've got to do TWO more laps." Dwight was so excited. I could take 1:30 to ride the last two laps and I would still get two in. My slowest lap was 1:12, so there again, barring any mechanical issues, etc. it was time to get crackin' on a new course record.

Lap 16: Just keep pedalling, keep moving. Hey, if I had to get off the bike and walk up 9-mile with my bike I didn't care. However, I came in at 1:11. It was like my body couldn't go faster or slower than that 2 minute window. I came back in and told myself, just ONE more lap and this thing is history. I ate some more chocolate, put one last water bottle on the bike and off I went.

Lap 17: I was almost in tears on this lap because I was so happy. I've never never never set a record in anything. I've always been decent, but never great at this swim/bike/run stuff. Heck, my high school coach told me I wasn't a runner. And true, perhaps this is some small little race in BFE Texas and the course record might be broken next year, but at least I would have the record for a year. I knew Nancy couldn't catch me at this point. She might have been able to get 320 (Dwight said she didn't even have time to get that, maybe up to 315 or so, so even better that I didn't have to share the record with anyone). That was something I worried about back at 280, was that if I quit at 320, would Nancy be able to hit 320 as well? I'm not very good at sharing :) Anyways, I made it up 9-mile for the last time. Goodbye! I turned on to the flat road, ahh! It's a cake walk from here. I felt relaxed now. The worst was over. I felt like I was taking it easy, a victory lap, lol. Well, for some reason the backside of the course always gets to me. It really is fun back there. Once again, lots of cyclists back there. I passed a woman and she says, "You're an inspiration!" That's it, time to get this thing over with. I had been playing leap frog with the Myers (a tandem team that was so in sync you would have thought they were one), well, it was time I got moving. I felt like I was just going faster and faster and everytime I passed someone I just got more giddy. This lap was in 1:08, 4th fastest lap out of the 17. I popped up out of the creek bottom and yelled ONE-TWO-TWO for the last time!
What would you do differently?:

Well, at first I thought nothing. I mean, wow, I broke the course record by 40 miles!! However, after getting teased by everyone that I told about the race and how I finished and still had 39 minutes left and people saying, why did you quit then? I mean, at the time, all I thought about was that last lap. But now I'm like, yeah, I should have kept going because I would have gotten credit for probably at least 10 miles; therefore getting 350 miles. Ugh, never satisfied I guess.
Post race
Warm down:

I came to a stop and Kristen was there to grab my bike. I could barely lift my lef up over it. Dwight was like jumping around, he later told me he was telling everyone that I was going for 340. I think he was more excited than me. Well, I was really excited too, just couldn't quite move. My crew immediately decided it was time for pictures. Man, they were camera happy through this entire thing. I should have stomped all of those cameras into the ground. I started to get a little dizzy though so had to sit down. After sitting for a few minutes I finally paraded around with my crew for pictures. Kristen had to leave for Ft. Worth so hugged her goodbye and then hobbled down to the tent to change out of the restricting clothing. I then hobbled back up to my car and sat down and chatted with my mom while sweet Dwight tore down the tent, loaded up the car, etc. What would I do without him? And to think I was going to come do this all by myself. The church was putting on a hot dog dinner, but we decided to wait until after the awards to go eat in town. It felt like it took forever to get to the awards. They had a huge raffle and gave away tons of stuff, but did I win anything? Of course not, I never do. I finally got my award and then we snuck out to head to eat and the hotel. I wish I could stay, but my mom needed to go back to Abilene and I was about to fall over. Oh man, and talk about hurting! I felt like my entire body was bruised. My knees ached and going from sitting to standing or standing to sitting was torture. We went to eat at chili's and of course there is a curb up to the sidewalk, never have I questioned whether I could make it up a 3 inch step or not. I can only imagine what the people in the restaurant thought of me as I hobbled around. I did my best to hold my head up out of my mashed potatoes and then we went to the hotel where I just stood in the hot shower forever. My legs were like dirt brown. It was so dusty out there with the quarry and dirt parking lot. Oh, and did I mention that my arms and legs were fried?! Yeah, so as soon as daylight hit, I was wise enough to think about putting sunscreen on my face (I still had on the jacket and tights). However, then I switched into my short clothes. I asked Dwight to grab the sunblock, but he didn't hear me and I got distracted and forgot about it until it was too late. All year I had done my best to minimize the horrible tan lines and now this! Oh well, I'll just think of it like a battle wound or something. I got out of the shower, was in bed by 10:00 pm and as soon as my head hit the pillow I was out. Best night of sleep in my life. Oh, and just to let y'all know, when I woke up the next day, my body really felt 10 times better, it was amazing. True, I was still sore, but I couldn't believe how great I felt. We ended up shopping all the way back to Longview :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Well, I don't think I really could have gone faster, but I definitely learned some things out there. I think the next time I do a 24 hr (oh yes, there will definitely be more!), on a similar set up, I will break after every 2 laps than every lap. My break times were too long and I could have gone 40 miles before breaking. Everything like bottles and batteries were on a 2 lap rotation anyways. I could have taken a gel or carried some food to eat between laps where I didn't stop. Also, my long breaks might could be shorter too. I noticed that I seemed to be the only one taking the long breaks, most of the others just kept on rolling. However, this was my first one and I was scared of crashing and burning later on in the event so perhaps I was a little conservative, but at the same time, perhaps that's what saved me too. Then of course, quitting before time was up, I shoulda kept going.

Event comments:

The Lone Star Randonneurs know how to put on an event. It was awesome! Tons of goodies in the packet, lots of food for breakfast, lunch (oh yeah, they got pizza while I munched on icky granola bars), and dinner. The trophies were just massive. I have pictures from the race that I will post later. Everyone was so nice. After this race I have a dilemma...originally the plan for next year was Ironman in April, double ironman in October, but this was so much fun, that now I'm contemplating going back and doing the RAAM qaulifier 500 mile event. While the 24 hr was great, I still felt like a pansy for only doing the 24 hrs. It's like the first time I did a two-man relay in a marathon. 13.1 miles was a lot and we were excited when we finished, but then I looked at the people coming across the line and seeing they're joy after their accomplishment. I wanted that feeling. And now I want to feel the 500 miles. Like I said, never satisfied...always gotta up it just a little bit more. I'm not fast, but I'm getting better at this keep moving stuff. Anyways, awesome awesome event. Definitely a great way to get my feet wet in ultracycling.

Last updated: 2005-10-26 12:00 AM
23:20:57 | 340 miles | 14.56 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/1
Overall: 1/2
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: The course was just outside of Cleburne, TX on Park Rd 21 and FM 1434 and then some other road in the middle. The route started out at the New Hope Baptist Church and gradually climbed up and up. During the 8-9 mile climb you went by a limestone quarry and Cleburne State Park. You then made a right turn where it was fairly flat for a couple of miles. You then came to the only stop sign on the course and made a right turn on to FM 1434. This road was much nicer. Nice rolling hills. You went by a couple of those oil/gas well rig thingamajigs and a golf course before a really nice downhill, then it flattened out before another nice descent to a creek before a short climb back out popped you back up to the start finish. Roads were chipsealed, however, it was pretty good chipseal, some of the smoothest I've seen. Also, the course was very clean of debris and trash; only saw gravel on the road in a couple of areas from gravel drives. There was a shoulder for the first 9 miles, but the backside did not have a shoulder which made me a little nervous during the night with cars coming by.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2005-11-04 11:52 AM

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Longview, TX
Subject: Texas Time Trials 24 hr

2005-11-04 12:35 PM
in reply to: #278177

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: RE: Texas Time Trials 24 hr

Woohoo!  I'm glad I finally got to read the race report!

You did GREAT, Gina!  I'm so proud of you!  Congratulations!  You work SO hard and deserve EVERY win and course record you get!   I know there will be more!

Can't wait to see what you do next year...whatever it is, it will be interesting!

2005-11-04 12:47 PM
in reply to: #278240

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San Diego
Subject: RE: Texas Time Trials 24 hr

Congrats. I'm still in awe. I was looking forward to meeting you in Virginia, but I completely understand the "wanting to do more" thing. Good luck with whatever you decide and I'm sure we will meet up in some ultra event

Again, congrats!

2005-11-04 1:10 PM
in reply to: #278177

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Subject: RE: Texas Time Trials 24 hr
Took you long enough,

Oh yeah, and that is AWESOME.

2005-11-04 1:12 PM
in reply to: #278177

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Gulf Shores, AL
Subject: RE: Texas Time Trials 24 hr
Absolutely amazing! Congrats on breaking the record and completing such a cool event.

2005-11-04 4:51 PM
in reply to: #278177

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Tucson, AZ
Subject: RE: Texas Time Trials 24 hr

Congrats on a great race and a new course record!  That's fantastic!

I really enjoyed your race report.  I write long, detailed reports too, where I write out what I was thinking and stuff.  I always like reading about what's going on in people's heads during the races, especially the longer races.

Good luck in your future races!

2005-11-04 5:19 PM
in reply to: #278177

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Pittsburgh, my heart is in Glasgow
Subject: RE: Texas Time Trials 24 hr
Oye, my behind hurts just reading that. Good on ya though, that sounds AWESOME. And you're a record holder
2005-11-05 5:43 PM
in reply to: #278177

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Williamston, Michigan
Gold member
Subject: RE: Texas Time Trials 24 hr
Amazing as always Gina...CONGRATUALTIONS   you  need to believe in yourself!!  BUT you are an engineer so that explains a lot   I hope you are feeling reat again  and good luck with the next one
2005-11-05 9:41 PM
in reply to: #278177

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Frisco, Texas
Subject: RE: Texas Time Trials 24 hr

That is an amazing accomplishment!  You trained hard and exceeded your goals.  You should be proud.


2005-11-06 11:59 PM
in reply to: #278177

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Littleton, CO
Subject: RE: Texas Time Trials 24 hr
You'll make IMAZ sound easy!  Cool RR.  I'm so tired now from reading your RR I'm even more impressed!
2005-11-07 3:27 PM
in reply to: #278177

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Extreme Veteran
Denver, CO
Subject: RE: Texas Time Trials 24 hr
I honestly don't think I've ever seen anyone more prepared for an event. All of your training (mental and physical) paid off with a fantastic result. You should be so proud of yourself!! Congratulations, Gina!

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