Yesterday I rode 60 miles on my bike, setting a new personal record. It took nearly three hours and I was drenched with sweat when I dismounted from my bike. Robby and Scott were watching the Tour with me, cheering me on when I became fatigued or discouraged. Nothing keeps me as motivated as hearing Robby cheer, "Pedal Momom pedal... hooray!"
I didn't start the ride expecting to break my personal best. However, Lance Armstrong went with the early morning break and was with the leaders for the entire Tour. His performance proved that, although he is not as fast as he was in his prime, he can still hold his own with the best cyclists in the world. His performance was amazing.
Robby cheered, Scott brought me drinks and ducked to avoid the flying bottles and banana peels as I pedaled my way through the hours. In spite of my efforts, Lance failed to finish the stage in first. I was initially heartbroken by his sixth place finish and, yes, I admit that I cried.
My sadness quickly lifted as I realized that he did not fail. He finished with the breakaway minutes ahead of the other hundred riders. He flew through the mountains and held his own against attacks. Finishing with the breakaway was, in actuality, a victory in itself.
It took me awhile to muster enough energy to pull myself up the stairs to take a shower. My stump was angry and the bursa/bone spur was inflamed and swollen. My legs felt like they were tethered to cement blocks. It was only 11, but I knew I was in for a tiring day. My exhaustion and pain were inconsequential: I had broken a personal record and Lance proved that he can still compete with the best.
For the past two years, Nike has deployed a special machine to the Tour to write inspirational or motivating messages along the route. The public submits messages or comments and each day several are chosen to be painted on the roads of France. Talking with my mom at the end of the stage, I lamented the fact that my message was probably never going to be printed.
After a quick shower and sandwich, I logged onto my computer. I checked my email, and, for the second time that day, I started to cry.
My message was chosen and painted on the road for yesterday's stage--a ride when Lance was battling for honor and pride through arduous mountain terrain. For me, it couldn't have been more perfect! Despite hobbling around on an angry stump, it was a fantastic day all around. Oh, and to make the day perfect, Scott surprised me with a huge chocolate pie. Yum!