Sunday, July 4, 2010

60.1 Miles

When I was 10 years old, I swam for a competitive swim club called the Kansas City Blazers. During this time, I participated in a Swim-a-thon and went around the neighborhood collecting pledges (most were a dollar a lap). I was used to fierce 2-hour practices, every day, so I made it past 2 hours pretty easily. And, I just kept swimming, and swimming. No food, no water, just lap after lap after lap...hundreds of them. Eventually, I was the only one in the pool. Later still, I was the only one in the pool, and there weren't even any parents (except my mom) or kids outside the pool. This memory has the feeling of myth to me because the details are a little smudgy (did I swim for 3 hours, 4 hours?), but just like a good myth the important feeling is there. My first soaring endorphin high happened when I was all alone swimming in that pool. My memories of childhood are more like snapshots than videos. But, I remember so clearly reaching my arm out in the water and feeling that I was an unlimited being. I could swim across the ocean. I could swim forever. Not too long after that, my mom reached her hand into the water and pulled me out. "You're done," she said. "You've done enough." My parents very graciously told me to tell the neighbors they could just give me twenty bucks (instead of the hundreds of dollars they owed me).

I had this feeling today. I've had it since that amazing swim, but every time it happens I feel like that kid in the pool. I could just keep swimming. Today it happened at about 45 miles and every ache and pain just evaporated. I felt like I was one with my bicycle. I could have just kept on riding.

Today's ride was all about the miles. I wanted 60, and I wanted it bad. I started with a trip out to Gresham then headed back home. This got me to exactly 40 miles. I went to the bathroom, refilled my water bottles, drank a thing of coconut water, walked Dexter. Then I was off. I rode over Tabor and down to Maywood park and stopped to take a picture of the festivities. I realized that I had been so focused on getting to 60 miles, I'd forgotten to take any pictures. This was my first.

I turned around a little after Maywood Park and headed back towards Tabor, but to get up to 60 I rode up to Rocky Butte and then home. Along the way I snapped the picture of the flower below (sweet pea?) along the I-205 bike path. About 3 miles from home I started to feel my body again (mostly my back).
Riding home I saw a picture of a house so nicely decorated for the Fourth of July. I thought this seemed rather nice (you don't see that much) so I stopped for a pic.
When I got to my house I was a 59.2 so I rode down the street a bit, saw this cute cat lounging in the street and when I got back home I was a 60.1. My body feels good. I remembered to drink lots of water when I got home (thanks, Darryl!), got some protein and carbs in me and then settled in (after showering) with some blueberry tea and an ice pack on my back.
Now, I'm going to go call my dad and tell him about my accomplishment and say, "I'm ready! Let's do this thing. RAGBRAI, here we come!"


  1. Congratulations on getting in 60.....I thought you were ready before, but now I see you are definitely ready. Bring it on.


  2. Thanks! Definitely loving the bike today. :)

  3. Great job Sara. I remember the swim-a-thon in KC but forgot all the details. Thanks for the memories.