22 June 2013

Goin' Home

2013 Ride the Rockies Finish Line

15 June 2013
Ride the Rockies, Day 7
Canon City to Colorado Springs
48 miles


Taking a day off yesterday may have been a really good thing, and for more than just the cough that isn't so bad now.

It was much easier to sit in the saddle today, and it's not because everything has healed up perfectly. It just wasn't as irritated today.

However, I also learned a very important lesson today. I've been forgetting to take my hyaluronic acid almost every day because I've been too focused on making sure I have everything I need each day, pedaling for what feels like all day every day and trying to get to sleep each night so we can get up at 4 a.m. and not feel thoroughly exhausted.

Disc pain today was significant. I didn't do anything to aggravate it, so it's got to be the HA. Which means... the miracle drug works!!!

Twice today I was in tears because the damaged disc was so painful. Never again will I forget my HA. I've discovered it's the new most important thing I pack for a weeklong trip. It's my new most important routine that must not be forgotten!

On the bright side, The Lizard gave me back rubs that really helped whenever I needed them during today's ride. Nothing like a personal masseuse on a hot bike ride! As I recall, I felt a difference within three days when I first began taking the HA last year. So by Monday, I should be fine. (Author's Note: It took until Tuesday, but I'm fine now.)

The Lizard rode with me most of the day today, and that was awesome. There were some icky cobblestone-like roads, and my saddle wasn't too happy about that. But the day off the bike made bumps more bearable, and today was the first time I've ever reached the final destination before closing festivities officially begin.

We didn't have as many wildflowers alongside the road today. We were lower in elevation than we've been all week, and the heat and drought have affected all the growth. There is more brown and yellow here than green.

Bull thistle is at peak outside of Colorado Springs. I want to go back and collect the flowers to keep them from spreading (they are considered a noxious weed in Colorado) and to dye some yarn with them. I'm curious what color they would produce.

When you arrive in the final host town early, family and friends who've gathered to cheer on their favorite cyclists haven't grown weary of cheering and ringing cowbells yet. The welcome we received in Colorado Springs as we crossed the finish line was one of the best I can remember! When The Lizard grabbed my hand for the finish line photo, the crowd really let out a whoop, and tears filled my sunglasses-covered eyes because I was so happy to be done!

The End!

One Tired Cyclist

Finish Line

Finish Line

Typically, even when I'm sore, I'm sad to see Ride the Rockies end. The week goes by too fast, and I feel as if I sped through a whole week of vacation.

This year, I'm so happy to have finished all but one day, and I'm so glad we don't have to sleep in a tent tonight!

I'm glad I get to cook our dinner tonight instead of eat out. I'm glad I don't have to slather on sunscreen tomorrow. I'm glad I don't have to wear mole skin tomorrow. I'm so thankful for air conditioning! And no alarm tomorrow. No sirree! I'm sleeping until noon!!! (Not really, but it sure is nice to fantasize about!)

I've decided Ride the Rockies is a lot more fun if I've adequately trained.

This was a fun week, and I enjoyed the ride and the awesome scenery. I rode stronger than last year, when I also inadequately trained, thanks to the March bicycle accident that left me with a broken wrist, a cracked vertebra and six weeks off the bike. Being in the "hot seat" almost all this week, though, has diminished some of this year's pleasure, even though this pain is much preferable to the back pain I endured last year. I'm not sure I could have done anything differently this year, but I can take this lesson into next year and hopefully gain from the experience.

Proof!

Everyone at work loved this!

Yes, I used sunscreen.  Every. Day.

We opted for a circuitous and scenic mountain route home instead of the easy one-hour jaunt up I-25 to avoid smoke from the Black Forest fire because I'm still coughing so much. Even though we bypassed Monument and Castle Rock, our hearts go out in full to the hundreds who lost their homes this week and the family of the two who lost their lives.

When we first rounded the corner on our street after the long drive home, the first thing I noticed was my gorgeous delphiniums. Four radiant blooming stalks, and all are different shades, even though they were all the same color when I bought them.

The flowers I planted from seeds – columbine, foxglove, lupine, hollyhocks, poppies, windflowers and bachelor buttons – have all begun sprouting and budding. I see what looks like dandelions growing in a few places, and now that I've seen chicory along the roadside for a solid week, I am going to wait to pluck these because they might not be weeds after all.

The neighbors who cared for our yard while we were gone said we hit 100 degrees one day last week, so they watered the garden a second time that day. We have a ton of smelly laundry to wash, but boy, oh, boy, is it good to be home!

California Poppy

golden poppy

First Day Lilies of the year.  What color will they be???

fade to lavender

bluest blue

Canon City to Colorado Springs

Day 7

7 comments :

  1. No pllace like home and congrats on finishing once more. But like a vacation? No my idea of a vacation haha

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, just love that first photo, and all the rest, so amazing. What a great time and most beautiful place to experience it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yay! You're back home and it sounds like you had a blast, although there were some bumps in the road, still a blast.

    So awesome that you both finished early this year! Congrats to you both.

    Prayers and thoughts to all those who have been touched by the fires.

    Blessings to you both always

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good job pushing through and finishing! I read about HA, and I haven't ever considered taking it. I need to look into it. Love, love, love the flower photos.

    Enjoy home sweet home.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You guys look so sweet in your matching jerseys. :)

    Congrats on another RtR - smoke and blisters and all. You did a great job, especially with all the painful challenges that came your way. And now you've proved that HA really works - so that's a good thing.

    See you Friday!!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congratulations! I think you're amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I officially LOVE the first photo of you guys, hands clasped, crossing the finish line. Even made a goat tear up. How special is that???

    ReplyDelete


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