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Monday, April 14, 2008

MS150 - Done!

Well, I finished! And yes, I am proud. I'm also very grateful that everyone was so supportive, as their generosity gave me (and 13,000 other riders) the opportunity to experience something very special. The time on the bike was as challenging as it was fun... and at times even meditative.

Despite the fact that I always did things that were active in nature pre-op, the MS150 was one of those things I secretly feared; I could never fully commit to to it. In fact, I'd swim before I'd commit to riding 150 miles!! So completing the tour really makes me proud and it is like beating an old fear.

Would I do it again? I think so, but I know to do things a little differently. It was not without it's pitfalls and drama, but I don't want to dwell on that stuff and take away from the overall experience.

We really took full liberties on the tour. We took long rest stops (we needed it as we had strong headwinds and gusts up to 28mph -- the forecasts were sooooo wrong!). We even took time to enjoy sno-cones under a shady oak tree! We took extra stops for "photo ops" where we saw some beautiful scenery (in a car we'd ordinarily zoom right past and miss). We enjoyed meeting other riders as well. (I was made an honorary Exxon Mobile rider... see the tiger tail on my bike seat in the last picture). The camaraderie was great. The volunteers were also outstanding! In fact, I need to write the MS group and let them know about 2 in particular. Every town we traveled through welcomed us and cheered us on... it was just amazing. I came in to the finish at 4:05 pm on Sunday.

Here's some things of interest: There is a group of people that do this tour on Roller Blades... I can't even imagine that. This year there were two people on unicycles! Plus, Lance's team, along with some other elite groups, had a private start and did the Houston to Austin ride in less than a day.

Now for pictures (hope no one is on dial-up). First is a before and after. When I saw the picture of me now, it was the first time I took a double-take and said, "that's not me!" I literally had to look at it twice. Excuse the "Fonzie" thumbs-up reference... I'm such a dork sometimes. LOL





Now for the actual event pictures...

This was Friday... The expo that started off the weekend.

This was race morning getting ready for the start...
having a decent hair day too, before helmet head!

Me and my machine... note red-on-red the animal stripes. :)

Oh, and my jersey says "Ride Like a Girl" all over it;
I'm particularly fond of the pink flames on the shoulders.


Me and my riding partner, J.
The START line Saturday Morning... beautiful weather!
Lunch break on Saturday...
Pictures can't really capture how many riders are there...
It's like a Woodstock for Cycling enthusiasts!


Texas wild flowers in bloom...
and us taking a break to enjoy the scenery.

By far not one of the biggest hills....
just a sample of what the majority of the tour roads looked like
Uuuuppp, doooowwwwnn and upppp again...
Take a break... anywhere, really.
Like he was the only one there...
Still happy on the first day...
(do cycling helmets look good on anyone?)

Coming into downtown Austin...


The FINISH line
(taken after the race... not while riding. LOL)

Mommy finished! Thumbs up!!

We did it!

7 comments:

gastricgirl said...

Congratulations! I hope to do the MS150 next year! :) You should be very proud.

Kim H. said...

Congratulations!! You & J - look great!! :-) I'm glad that it went well, and that you can look back on it and be so proud of what you've accomplished. I'm in awe of the things you do - and I hope to be there with you someday!

Courtney said...

Congrats, D! you did a great job!

Melting Mama said...

Wow. Freaking amazing.

Aussieabroad said...

Psttt... it's 2008!

Donna - you did an amazing thing. I am so impressed! Congrats on an incredible accomplishment.

Ann

SignGurl said...

You are so freaking awesome!!! I'm doing the happy dance for you right now!!

Your body is buff!!

The pink looks great on you.

Dana (aka Smiley88) said...

Great job! I'm considering doing the MS150 in April. Hmmm... :-)

Also, I'm running RunGirl 13.1 tomorrow - that's how I found your blog! I also did my first 2 triathlons this year (at age 41). I started running 1.5 years ago (& losing weight) & tomorrow's Half will be #4!

I've been jumping around your blog & really enjoying it. Congrats on all of your hard work!!!

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