First off I want to thank A and K for their encouragement and support during the ride and the training - it was a great family effort and I think we all did really well.
We were up just after 4am - got the drinks and last few things packed and we were on our way. Arrived in Brisbane with plenty of time to spare and managed to get a parking right across from the park where we needed to be. Thankfully it wasn't as cold as we thought it could have been although it was a little chilly out of the car.
I guess next year we will tackle the start of the race a little differently - we went close to the back so that we were out of the way of the pack but then everyone started joining from the side so, even though we were there and waiting from about 6.15am - we didn't actually get to leave until just after 7.30 - a long time to be waiting around for something to happen.
Anyway, got onto the course and, as my friend said, before I knew it 9.5km were gone and I hadn't even realised it. The hills were as bad as I remembered them and in most instances I just fixed my gaze 2m in front of my bike and just kept pedalling. What I had forgotten was that the majority of the hills were in the second 25kms !!! But that became apparent when we got to the compulsory half way stop and we still had some horrible hills to go. But, it was all good. We had a banana, some trail mix and some energade and then took off again. I was having a lot of pain in my right kidney but that seems to have gone now so that is good.
A and I used our camelpaks but they were leaking and we found ourselves with wet pants and then wet shirts as we were trying to feed the tube around so that it didn't drip - will have to see about replacing some of the parts - maybe they have perished from not being used !!!! I only dry heaved once which was great - normally that happens at the top of most hills !!!! Sometimes I was at the back going up the hills and sometimes I was in the front - and sometimes I was even in the middle. We weren't sure how we were going to be able to stay in contact with each other and said we would catch up at the halfway mark if we lost contact but it was relatively easy once we were away from the crowd.
The second half I think was definitely harder than the first half and I kept on getting cramp in my toes. A said that his toes were really cold and suggested that maybe we shouldn't have laughed at the guy all kitted out with the cycling gear who had socks over his shoes !!! It was quite funny at stages - people all kitted out in, what looked like the most flash outfits and shoes etc etc, walking up the hills. Thankfully I managed to keep my bum on the saddle the whole way - no walking for me !!! I was very proud of that although if things had got to tough I would have walked if I had to.
Our average speed for the 50kms was 20kph which wasn't bad given that I was going up some hills at 8kph !!!! I also reached a personal best - fastest time of 47.78kph - obviously on a downhill !
K slept on the way up and the way down. My legs were really sore and stiff on the way down and, although I was going to sell tickets to see us getting out the car when we finally got home - it probably wasn't as funny as it could have been as I was busting to go to the toilet and so the minute the car stopped and the garage door was open, I was out the car and into the house without thinking too much about how much my legs hurt ! After unpacking the car we showered and then spent the afternoon in front of the TV - dozing, watching TV, reading and knitting.
What a great way to spend a Sunday - can't wait to do it again next year and now the Brisbane to Gold Coast isn't as frightening as it was before this morning - bring it on !!!!!!
Have a fantastic week, take care and go safely !