As of today I am 45.3% done with the route, leaving approximately 179 miles (60 in Utah, 69.4 in Colorado, and 49.5 in New Mexico).
As well, I have completed a whopping 70% of the climbs.
Here are some gems from the day’s ride:
You will face giants. Monstrous giants. Today I climbed more than any single given day in my riding history, and that includes the day I rode from Lehi to Heber, straight up Provo Canyon. That day I walked several times. There were several climbs in Oregon and Washington where I walked. I have been afraid of this day since I figured out that it pretty much had to be in one day, even though I decided that I was “allowed” to do it “backward” (North West instead of South East). But I gave myself permission as well to just complete it. Walk, crawl, whatever. Just get in and do the work. I rested when I needed to, and didn’t walk a single hill. When I exercised my tiny faith, the mountains DID. NOT. MOVE. I did. Keep moving, and nothing can stop you.
Today was the first day (with under 200 miles left to halfway) that I thought, “I think I can do this!” At the end of the ride were 14 absolutely glorious downhill miles, and I just got to play for 45 minutes (yes, mom, I’m still careful) while I soared down the beautiful hills of Moab. But it wasn’t during those miles it first occurred to me. It was during one of the first 3 or 4 climbs (there were several shorter-ish climbs, with 5 real doozies) where at the bottom I thought, okay – just get to that mile marker I can’t read from here, and then I can walk. As soon as I passed the mile marker, I looked up again and thought, nah, I can make it another 30 yards before I walk. As soon as I passed that spot I only had 20-30 more yards to the top, so I just kept going. And nothing hurt. Nothing in me said, “seriously, this is the dumbest thing you have ever thought of trying.” And then a good downhill and I got to repeat the process on another climb. Even the 5 heartbreaking climbs – while slow – were almost fun. So… let’s see. The first (roughly) 163 hours of something are the hardest? Keep going. It gets better.
I’m going to relax and watch a movie or something. Will write more later.
Life is good. Enjoy the ride!