NCCX Hendersonville 5K

I got out of my car on Saturday and immediately noticed the song playing on the PA…”Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”.  I chuckled at the thought of Stephen Morrissey’s voice billowing across the course.  And then it continued.  New Order.  The Cure.  Depeche Mode.  Joy Division.  I thought to myself, “Boy, someone sure knows where my mind has been the last few weeks.  Now I have to pretend I wanna race my bike WHILE listening to this?”  Then the sky opened, the monsoon came, and it didn’t stop till the last lap of my race.

It was a wet, sloppy, slippy mess.  I’m not sure who was driving my bike, but it magically took the lines like it was on autopilot.  My head was totally clear of all the bullshit.  I only wrecked twice AND managed to take out 30 feet of course tape.  The rain pelted my face and felt like daggers in my eyes.  I tried to ride the run up at the request of the crowd, ate shit, and slid on my back to the bottom.  I gave it everything I had.  I just kept repeating to myself, “I can’t stop.  I can’t stop.  I can’t stop.”  So I pedaled my bike until I made it to the finish…then my body decided it was time to shut down.

I tried to ride my bike around the first turn, because I had intentions of spinning after my race.  I ran straight into a course stake as my head began to spin.  I ducked the tape and realized I couldn’t feel my feet.  I tried to walk, but stumbled around like a baby deer.  I tried to hold my bike, but my shaky hands didn’t get the memo.  And after that, it’s fuzzy.  I could hear people talking about getting my wet clothes off, and telling me I was ok.  I wasn’t even sure who was helping me.  They helped me walk to the bathroom, and I sat in the floor, shaking uncontrollably.  I looked up and started to recognize the faces of the voices I heard outside.  My clothes were in a pile and I had random bystanders clothing on.  I hurt all over and couldn’t control the shaking.  As a paramedic, I then realized I had hypothermia, and though, “AHHH FUCK!”

Thanks to Dacia, Jen, Jane, Cindy, and all the random women who helped me out.  I am thankful for you all.

The rain stopped.  The winds blew in.  The temperature dropped.  And then Day 2 was upon us.  I stayed warm and off the course for my warm up.  I watched the races before me, and got a good idea of where the shitty spots were.  97% of the course was shitty.  More running than I had ever done, and the thickest mud I had ever ridden in.  My heart was in my throat, my legs were in my stomach, and I could hear my lungs gasping for air.  THIS IS WHAT WE DO TO OURSELVES FOR FUN.

I didn’t have a pit bike, so I watched people switch bikes as I hammered my legs through the muck.  The mud built up on my brake pads, so I had to stop every now and then to free my wheels.  Every run up was a death march, as I tried to eloquently carry my bike with correct form.  The added weight of the mud made the bike feel like a dead body.  My leg blew up as it always does, and there were times when I couldn’t “run” anymore.  The only thing that kept me going was the voice in my head, and the girl who was creeping up behind me.  So. I. Didn’t. Quit.

I only got in 2 laps, but I went hard for 45 minutes.  I even managed to get out of the saddle for the entire pavement section at the finish line.  All I had to do was finish my race, but I added a final touch of strength to top it off.  I was super glad for the race to be over, and I didn’t get hypothermic.  In fact, I was so fucking hot from running a 5k, I had my skin suit unzipped all the way during my cool down.

I came in with a fuzzy head and a broken heart, but I left with a sense of accomplishment.  Now that I’ve started to get my shit together, it’s time to let my body recover.  A couple more races await me next month, then I will focus on the road season. I’m hoping to take my fitness to the next level this spring….

…and hoping to take my heart with it.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Tony Williams says:

    “I tried to ride the run up at the request of the crowd, ate shit, and slid on my back to the bottom.” This was my favorite line. So “running” through the wooded section made me feel like stopping and immediately falling asleep. It hurt, but it was an Epic course. Love ya, Megs.

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