This past Saturday I participated in my first timed and ranked “Bike Race”. It was the 2022 Frankenmuth Fondo and I did the 25k route. In the weeks leading up to the event I was really struggling and there was a couple of times I almost backed out. The Thursday prior to the race I did an out-and-back locally and was completely drained about 3/4 of the way through. My lung capacity is still hindered, which I believe is due to the aftermath of COVID.
Saturday morning we headed to the race. At this point I was full of nerves that I’d fail to complete the ride but also really excited. The weather was perfect, mid 60s and a light wind. We arrived as the 100k riders were lining up, picked up my registration packet and unloaded the bike. At this point the nerves started dissipating as the excitement grew. The event coordinators were all extremely helpful and welcoming. I was wearing my Great Cycle Challenge 2022 Jersey and I met a couple other riders that participate.
As it neared the starting time, I made my way to the line. We lined up and were quickly on our way!
I normally don’t use routes in my Hammerhead Karoo 2 bike computer but had loaded the route for this ride. I found that helped a lot in obtaining short goals rather than the daunting longer goal. Each segment was 3-4 miles and was able to celebrate a win each time I came to a turn. Along the way I rode beside a few riders and had some great conversations. Before I knew it, I was 3 miles from the finish line – without having taken a break.
I ended up finishing the 25k race in an hour, which is my normal average for a 10 mile ride! I contribute this to the excitement of the race and setting those micro-wins along the way. If something seems unobtainable, set realistic goals for yourself and celebrate every milestone, before you know it, you too will be rolling across the finish line!