July 21st, 2015 by Team OAM NOW / Athletic Mentors
By Lindsey Stebbins, Team OAM Now Elite Club
I have sat down 4 different times to write this blog. Each time I have written a few paragraphs and deleted them. I had a very difficult time figuring out how to sum up my experience and provide some insight into the race. It was a rather long race for me and there were 2973392462955 thoughts going through my head before/during/after. There’s so much I want to say and share, but in the name of brevity, here are some of the funny moments and a brief race recap.
First and foremost, I want to thank everyone for the support. It was a surprise to see Mike ride up and then to hear there was a huge group of Team OAM riders a few miles up the road! It was nice to see all of you! Cheryl, Cricket, Mike, Polly Krywanski and Amy… Thank you for coming out to base camp. It is so nice to see familiar faces when we come in and head back out for yet another loop. It truly helps a ton. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
The 33rd National 24 Hour Challenge started sharply at 8am on Saturday Jun 20th. As tradition included, the bag pipe players sent Glenn, Dave, and me off for our journeys to rack up as many miles as possible in 24 hours. From 8am on the 20th until Sunday Jun 21st, we all rode our bikes. For Glenn this concluded his 24th N24HC; Dave wrapped up his 12th N24HC, but his first as being a professional pace wheel; I finished my first N24HC. I placed 2nd in my age group with 385.1 miles. Dave placed 2nd in his age group with 415.5 miles; Glenn placed 3rd in his age group with 409.1 miles. Glenn is also 3rd overall for all time high mileage with 7,854.2! Dave and I broke the father/daughter record by 119 miles. We totaled 800.6 between the two of us.
Our Pit Crew: Not crewing myself this year was bittersweet. The days leading up to the race I was bummed about not being able to pit. I still miss it. However, we did assemble an incredible crew. Denise (Mom)-Thanks for being mom and making sure the crew got food/drinks/etc. Thanks for supporting us and putting up with our grouchiness from training. Ashley (sister)- Thanks for keeping awesome mileage sheets, keeping us organized, and getting us in and out quick. Corey (fiancée)- Thank you for everything: supporting my training and the moods/tiredness that came along with it, our sky rocketed grocery budget, my overhaul of the office, etc.. Thank you for keeping us going through the night and the awesome launches! Darren (friend)- Thanks for all your support and providing comic relief to everyone.
The Start: I should probably start riding with people or race more. Starting off in a big mob of cyclists and trying to clip in (without falling over) was an experience. I was a little nervous with people all around me. There’s a lot happening at a start - I was swaying to clip in, yet trying to keep my eyes forward so I didn’t hit anyone, all while sizing up groups to figure out where I should settle in. This was my first mass start, so at least I know what to expect when I decide to race again.
Jim Bob? Eminem?: There was a nice gentleman who rode with us for the first 50 miles and was very kind. I got a chance to introduce myself to him and we talked a bit. Jim Bob is a very nice gentleman and, by the context of our conversation, I’m assuming a fairly PG person (this is important to know for later). As the hours ticked by, I put the speaker on my bike and set my playlist. The playlist was eclectic (oldies for my dad, pump up songs, and yes, some rap). Somewhere in the middle of the night someone rides up behind me…. “Lindsey?”
I replied “Yes, who’s back there?”
“Jim Bob. I’ve never been so glad to hear Eminem in my life!” I immediately started to laugh.
The Snickers Bar: Weird things happen when I’ve been on a bike for a long time. My IQ and decision making skills drop significantly and I just go into survival mode. For example, on the 24 mile loop, there is a checkpoint (checkpoint #5) about 25 minutes away from the school. They have food, water, and port-a-johns. I had to go potty (yet again) and headed into the port-a-john. Someone before me had emptied their pockets and there was a bunch of trash on the bench part. Then… THERE IT WAS……a wrapped, bite size snickers bar! Being in my survival mode, I just grabbed the snickers bar, put it in my pocket and pedaled away. I ate that snickers bar down the road and it was the best piece of candy I have ever had.
Nausea Training: My dad’s infamous nausea training: How to combat nausea during the race? You train for it. The night before the race, be sure to enjoy a few too many adult beverages and, no matter how icky you feel the next day, get on your bike and ride. Seems logical? At least you’re prepared to not feel great. Now my only question is why didn’t he tell me about this training method BEFORE the race?!
Things I learned: 1) I need to practice my cornering 2) Chafing is inevitable. Buy stock in bag balm. 3) Spend way more time on the bike if I’m going to do this again. 4) Music is a must. 5) Candy out of a port-a-john is still candy and is still good.
Since the challenge, many people have asked me “What’s next?” It’s a natural question after such a physical test, but to be honest, I’m not sure. I am back in the weight room, biking and running, and just enjoying training.
Happy racing everyone!
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