The 6 & 12 Hours of Stony has come and gone and now it really feels like the season has begun!
Josh and I went back and forth about racing my fat bike or the super fly as we prepared for the race.
We finally decided to bring them both and to see "what" happened as the day progressed. I anticipated that it would be tough on the Fatbike, but also very interesting.
As always, because my husband is so awesome, he had all of our gear organized and loaded the night before. This allowed me an early bed time since my only charge was packing the food and my clothes.
I was slightly depressed that the Vanderkitten pit shirt I had ordered for Josh hadn't arrived yet, but it should be here in time for the next event :-).
Saturday morning we arrived at the race venue and had our pit situated with time to spare. Over the years, we've slowly established a systematic approach to unloading the van that keeps us both from bickering with each other.
The nuts and bolts of it involves my staying out of Josh's way...haha...
Across from our tent was a very pleasant group from Columbus, Ohio. They were riding as a part of Team Jeni's Ice Cream and their enthusiasm for the event was contagious!
It was really awesome to see new faces at the race and it gave us hope that the endurance series isn't dying!
In addition, I was super excited to see that Kathy Roche-Wallace was racing in the 12 Hour group with me!
Kathy is a two time RAAM competitor and has also mastered many, many other endurance events including, but not limited to a Triple Ironman.
I was pretty star struck :-)
As we lined up for the race, I made sure I packed my emergency fish and some gels to keep me happy for the first few laps.
Then it was go time!
And, I have to say, the first few hours passed in a blur. I was thoroughly enjoying the sunshine, the breeze in the air and plowing through giant mud puddles that dotted the two track sections.
Before I knew it, it was 1 o'clock and soon the 6 hour event would begin and new riders would be entering the course.
At this point, I was at about fifty five miles and starting to feel a little less then springy on the fat bike.
As we've been creeping up on the Summer Solstice race, I've been trying to persuade myself into getting back on the Super Fly and it took 7 hours and 70 miles of beautiful fat bike endurance riding for me to finally say okay.
As I finished my 7th lap, I rolled into the pit and asked Josh if maybe now I could take out the Super Fly to dial her in. He told me it was about time and we made the switch.
It was also at this time that I asked him to help me wipe down my glasses because they were getting foggy from all the mud and sweat running down my face.
Several minutes later I was back on the trail and feeling like I was gliding over the trail on a jet boat...well maybe a motor boat...but you get the idea.
My legs appreciated the feeling of the thinner tires and I finally parted with the notion of racing my fat bike at Summer Solstice...
Although we will still bring the Farley as a back up...you never know...it could snow....
Anyways, back on the trail, I roped in three more laps on the Super Fly and then stopped in the pit to have Josh wipe my glasses again.
This is when I noticed the blurry vision was not my glasses but actually my right eye. Upon closer inspection, Josh noticed that my iris in the right eye was actually cloudy.
I started panicking and picturing myself losing my vision in that eye. I would need a patch and we'd probably have to start riding a tandem due to my loss of vision.
Josh had me sit down for a few minutes to see if it improved and to let me mull over going out for one more lap.
The disney movie, "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken" kept running through my mind (in the movie a young girl loses her vision while jumping diving horses into a pool, a movie I was obsessed with as a kid).
Josh calmed me down and brought me the most delicious raspberry ice cream from Team Jeni's. I sat on our cooler and ate the whole pint...it was amazing.
As the race came to a close, we packed up our gear and rounded with our friends that were there for the six hour event.
It was such a great day for riding bicycles and I was so grateful to be able to participate in it! There's nothing like the extreme sense of exhaustion to make yourself feel like you accomplished something.
In the end, I had a PR for laps for this race and hit my goal of a trail hundo.
By morning, my eye had returned to normal and today I had it properly checked by my doctor. The results of course are inconclusive, but favor a dry eye diagnosis.
My doctor said I could rule out 90% of what Web MD said and that moving forward to participate in SS won't be a problem.
Apparently, that old wives tale about riding your bike all the time leading to blindness...might be true...
Or maybe that's not how that old wives tale goes....haha...