There was a noticeable change in my heart rate as we got closer to Kansas. I could feel my chest tighten, had to remind myself to breathe several times. After having put so much time, energy, and money into this race, it was normal for me to feel a little anxious. That's just how I get when I am excited, I guess.
|Stage of tables to make registering a breeze|
We arrived in Kansas around 2pm, after a 5 1/2 hour drive. By 2:30, Jim and I were enjoying a delish gourmet veggie pizza at Wheat State Pizza. Thanks Kristi for the great recommendation. At 3pm, we were registering with ease at the Emporia Granada Theatre, where the race would start and end the following day. While signing our waivers and getting our numbers, we were able to meet the race directors, Kristi and Tim Mohn and THE Jim Cummins. It was nice to see Eric Benjamin, the Adventure Monkey, all smiles, even though he was unable to ride due to having heart surgery. Talk abut Superior Attitude, Eric has it. We visited with several of our friends from back home and connected with our support crew, Emma, of Team Orange Lederhosen fame.
|Yarn bike sighting|
Never forget how much your significant other contributes to your successes. Failures, however, are owned completely by oneself.
I found that quote on FaceBook, courtesy of Chris Cleeland. It says so much. Thank you Jim, for setting me up for success with a fantastic KONA and supporting me financially and mentally. Thank you Emma, for being an amazing woman and helping me stay focused, fed and hydrated in order to complete my goal. You were awesome. What are you doing in October?
|Cool pianos were everywhere|
After checking into our hotel, time seemed to fly by. We attended the racer meeting at 7pm, the theater jam-packed with over 400 racers and their families. You could not ignore the electric excitement around you, nor the emotional tone the meeting took when Eric took stage to speak, and when a representative from the Pablove Foundation spoke of their plight " to fund pediatric cancer research and advances in treatment, educate and empower cancer families, and improve the quality of life for children living with cancer through hospital play, music and arts programs." ( Quote taken from Eric's donation page ) After hearing these speeches, it was hard to feel sorry for yourself.
The meeting let out and we headed back to our hotel for some last minute bike checks and gear organizing. We both had our gear separated in totes and ready to turn over to Emma before going to bed. We dropped by her hotel at 9:30. That would be a lot easier than trying to find her in the morning.
|Jim and the map|
Throughout the day, Friday, I received many 'kick ass' wishes, that fed my confidence. Thank you! Scooter, can you explain " Buck the tiger"? Knowing there were so many people rooting for me helped me push through some crazy stuff out there.
Finally laying in bed, at 11pm, I felt like I was going to explode. I told EVERYONE I planned on crushing this ride. What did I do that for? I wrote about this race on my blog, over and over. Crap, can I really do this? I informed my teammates, one by one, that I was going to be the first Team Seagal member to cross the finish line. ** That was huge since I am the only chica on the team** Shit, now I had to do it. I had also put myself out there in the DK magazine article I wrote. Basically, I was not leaving Kansas until I had gotten my revenge over being robbed last year.
|Pabst enjoyment at the meeting|
|Reporting for duty|
Up next.... 19hrs of Dirty Kanza