I am by no means an athlete, but I've always been active. I've had and used a gym membership consistently over the last 15 years. I enjoy working out....but that has always been a solo effort. I was ecstatic when Joe told me he was going to do the MS Breakaway to the Beach with his cousin Mike. This annual event has bikers start in Monroe and ride to Sunset Beach, a total of 150 miles.
We started training this summer and got into a good routine of short rides during the week and longer ones on the weekends. We did a charity ride that made us realize that there are mountains in Waxhaw and we became very familiar with all the hyphenated roads in Union County. We rode in the rain and the hot sun. We rode a disastrous ride after giving blood (Tip: don't ever do this). We got very comfortable walking into public places smelly and sweaty. I perfected pigtails.
So last weekend was the actual event. We got up at 4am on Saturday and met his cousin to carpool to the start. A little after 7:30, Joe, Mike and about 1200 other riders got started, and I hopped in the car and drove to Sunset Beach to wait for his arrival on Sunday. I knew Joe would have no problems. He is a strong biker and we had trained well. I knew he could easily do 50 miles without stopping, so if he slowed down and stopped at each rest stop, I knew he'd be fine. It was weird being on that side of an event. All the runs, bikes and other events I have done, Joe has either been by my side or waiting as I finished. It was a little odd to be the one seeing him go. I felt a little like a protective mom watching her son go to school for the first day as they rode off into the sunrise. I anxiously waited for word.
He finished early on Saturday and when I finally got to talk to him he was happy and feeling great. I was relieved. My brother had done the MS ride one year and we picked him up and brought him home. He was grumpy...and that is an understatement. He was intolerable. So I was sorta worried Joe might suffer the same fate, but he was more excited than the start.
Sunday morning I got to the finish line at 10am to make sure I didn't miss him. I sat and cheered on as the bikers began to cross the finish line. As the morning faded to noon, the dark storm clouds became very apparent. We heard thunder and I just hoped Joe would finish before the rain. Around 12:30 I finally saw his yellow and red jersey and knew it was him. He looked great and I ran over to him. He was ecstatic, saying how much fun that was and how awesome he felt. I was so happy and proud of him it made my heart hurt. Mike finished a few seconds later with an equally big grin. Literally a minute later the rain started pouring. We ran to the car, strapped the bikes in and now all soaked, jumped in the car for the ride home.
Joe is now hooked. He woke up Monday feeling great - and his legs are rock hard! He was ready to ride again Monday night but the weather prevented us. I am so happy for him; not only that he did so well and felt so great, but that he enjoyed himself. Most people look at me like I am insane when I said how much fun I had at the triathlon, but now Joe gets it. Even better, we have something that we can do together. We are getting together this weekend to plan our 2011 year and form an official bike team. I am even thinking of a lofty 1,000 mile goal. We'll see...as Joe says, I can be quite ambitious.