The day started off sluggish. I drug myself out of bed later than intended. I planned on meeting some people for breakfast, but I was already running late. I decided to have oatmeal and was slightly disappointed when the container was empty. I loaded up the Defy in a light sprinkle and headed out. I swung to McDonalds for an oatmeal and I pulled in at 5:55am. The store, that used to be 24 hours, was not open yet. I headed North toward Holland and landed my oatmeal before heading to Herman Miller Greenhouse. I pulled in behind and parked next to my friend Dan T. and headed to grab my packet. I got a location on Jay, Dan T, Matt, Nate, and Lisa then it was time to go.
I was feeling pretty relaxed about the ride. Knowing it was going to be tough, simply because 100 miles and the word "easy" are not in the same category. We started off and started to settle in. Riding on the road in a group is a lot of fun. Especially when the group is working together. Before I knew it, we were at the first aid station 11.5 miles in. Quick stop and we were off again.
We started to find a few climbs on this loop. We passed a guy pulling his disabled son on a trailer. We all told them good job and they returned the gesture. Then it was a solid downhill and Matt took the lead. He was setting a solid pace and I was holding his wheel the best I could. Lisa and Nate were tucked in too...enjoying the work Matt was putting in. It was a fun segment, and I made a comment about how cool it was to find a draft like that.
We made a turn and started a climb. My mind started to wander. I slowed down. I started a second climb, and was spit out of the group. I mentally checked out. I went from confident at 19-20 miles per hour in a pace line to riding alone, shattered. We were about 20 miles in and I was done. The gang waited up...but I was mentally blown. Lisa came back and chatted with me, giving me encouragement to push on. I kept moving.
Next climb, I was for sure done. Groups that we had blown past were catching me like I was sitting still. Mentally there was no way I could continue for another 75 miles. Lisa dropped back again and tried to get me to jump on her wheel, but I wasn't interested. I was done. The gang tried to keep me going. Saying we could ride slow, just keep going. I emotionally didn't have the energy to continue. We got to an intersection and I checked my phone to see where we were. I took a left when the rest of them went straight.
I started the long 11ish mile trip back to the car, miserable and defeated. I have no clue how long it too me to get back, but I was totally checked out. I finally got back to the greenhouse. I rode 37 miles because I had to. I wanted to ride 100 but the day just wasn't meant to be. I missed out on 3 of my friends completing their fist centuries, because my brain quit.
Live to ride another day.