We finished!!!!! I did it, I did it [visualize insane redheaded woman doing a happy dance… well more of a happy wiggle, my legs won’t support a happy dance right now]. Tom and I finished the Texas Hill Country 600 (375 miles) in 23 hours and 6 minutes! I think I rode something between 150 to 170 miles and Tom kicked supreme ass on the rest. Best of all, we had fun. Really, I’m not kidding. It hurt like the dickens, but there were moments I wouldn’t trade for anything.
I had many firsts on this ride. It was my first true ultra event. Yeah, I’ve done Ring of Fire 12 hour as a two person team and a solo, but it doesn’t really compare to this riding through the night business. Hence, this was my first true night riding experience and I loved it. I thought I would struggle with staying awake, that I’d be grumpy about getting back on my bike at each hand off but that wasn’t the case at all. In fact I had my best (by far) pull at about 5 AM, more about that later. This was my first time riding more than 120 miles in a 24 hour period. It was my first experience involving an armadillo. It was my first race with Tom as a team. We love each other even more. What an amazing experience to share.
The weather was great. I don’t know that we would’ve even started the race if there was rain. Being a self supported two person team meant long transitions at night. To do it in the rain at 40 deg F might have been too much. But we had clear skies with almost no moon making a blanket of stars that was as bright as I’ve ever seen them. The wind kicked up a few times and treated us with some cruel twists… it sucks to have a headwind going out and then another in the middle of the night when you’re headed in the other direction, uphill no less. Really, that’s my only complaint.
In the end, Tom rode the last 20 miles and he rode them at full throttle, it was amazing and inspiring to watch.
This is only the first installment on this topic. I’ll have some detailed stories to pass along as I get time to write them up.