Certifying the Marathon and Half Course – Round 1

 

What a day!!!! It was SO COLD when we were doing our calibration this morning that I thought my face would freeze! I made it a point to remind Wayne how toasty I would feel if ONLY I had that awesome Batman facemask he wouldn’t buy me earlier this week. He told me to be creative (aka – stop whining and suck it up big girl) so I pulled out my ponytail and wrapped my long, crazy hair around my chilly ears and cheeks. It worked. I asked him if I looked awesome. He said I looked right out of Napolean Dynomite on my bike today. I knew that meant “I love you with all my heart and you are the most beautiful creature to grace this earth” or something close.

I got a few surprises today. Part of the course is on a dirt road. Did I mention the RAIN from yesterday? The dirt road was soupy mud, rutted, gloppy, thick and downright difficult to drive along while riding a sweet Cruiser bike (no matter HOW cute the color, it did nothing for manuverability!) I slogged and grunted and pushed through. It seemed to go on forever. After about 2 miles of that, it turned into a gravel road. The gravel fairies had left more than the fair share, so the new challenge was pedaling through the gravel (grunt, grunt, grunt.) I was so relieved when I saw asphalt again after that! Unfortunately, the hills from hell were waiting to throw what they could at me then. I think I nearly started a field fire my quads were burning up so much. I lost count, but man oh man were there a lot of hills today!!!! Wayne would pull up next to me and shout out the next number to watch for on the counter – always 6 digits long. I’d repeat it to myself while staring down at my front tire at the counter until we had it right on the nose. Then we’d stop, place a marker on the side of the road and then do the next one. We do this for each and every mile for round one. It’s SLOW going! All the info gets typed into the laptop as we go. Tomorrow, we’ll get to also make notes on the physical address (hard to find on most of this course since it’s in the countryside mostly), so we’ll get to pull out our crazy long tape measure and find things like caution signs, lamp posts with any type of numbering, etc and make note for each and every mile where the mile on the course is in relation to some physical thing or address like that. That will be part of tomorrow’s fun and games. 🙂

We had one major freakout moment. We thought the counter broke today at mile 24 of the course! EEEK! You can only buy these counters from a guy in Colorado. They take like a week to ship and cost about $150. Sitting on the side of the country road with panic in our eyes, I was fearful we’d done all that work, come all that way and spent all the money we had and may not get to finish the job!!! So stressful! My genius of a husband spent about an hour working with it, though and fixed it!!!!! He got a big kiss for that one! I was so relieved!!!!! Everything was fine after that, though it was getting dark.

We watched the sun set. The five kids were pretty patient considering they had to ride around in the Suburban today for about 9 hours. They got to practice peeing in the countryside a lot today. I think everyone but the 12 year old thought that was FUN! We rode the half marathon course and did our markings and notations of counter numbers long after it was totally dark out.

Oh yeah – wildlife encounters! I sniffed three separate skunk stinks today. Phew! I stopped by bike twice to let a fuzzy black caterpillars cross my path (so cute!!!) I saw lots of sheep, horses, cows and DOGS today! I nearly died when huge barking dogs came after me on the bike -not once, not twice but three freaking scary times today!!! I’m so glad I didn’t get bit, but man, it was frightening!

Celebrated having day 1 complete by taking the kids to Arctic Circle and getting then ice cream while they played on the playland. I went for a burger, fries and a HOT COCOA for my frozen hands!!!!!!

Need to head back out into the dark parking lot of this hotel and run a mile next. Can’t let the streak die!!!!

Stats: 42 miles of biking

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