Monday, July 23, 2012

Day 6 7/21/2012 Final day

I didn't sleep well once again, my muscles and knees are just spent. I am so excited to be done with this trip but at the same time I dread the thought of having to sit on my bicycle for one more day.  I really wish I could just take a rest day. 

I once again get up at 6am, with bearly 6 hours of sleep.  But figured it was better to get up and get moving to get this trip done. I hopped in the shower to try once again to relieve the pain in my body, but once again it didn't help, all it did was help to relieve a bit of stiffness.  So I reached for the Tiger Balm which has been our friend for the last 6 days and I caked it on.  My son wasn't to happy with me because it made the hotel room reak, but there was just nothing I could do. I had no choice if I wanted to make it through this day. 

The hotel only had cereal and danishes for breakfast and I surely didn't want none of that.  All I wanted was a banana, but I guess that wasn't going to happen.  In the mist of trying to pack the car and get only what we were going to need today.  Ashley walked down to the gas station and got herself some breakfast and then called and asked if I wanted anything and of course the answer was banana, so she grabbed 3.

After eating 1 banana we packed the other two in the bag for later, and then finished loading up and getting what we needed for the day.  Jim was going to be carrying most of our stuff in the car, so it is going to be nice for either of us not to have 50lbs on our bikes.  We were hoping since he was doing that that we would be able to push out the miles faster and get home, even though we were in such a great deal of pain.

After loading up, I had Jim stop at mcdonalds to grab a frappe for the caffiene and an egg mcmuffin sandwich. Who knows how today was going to go and when we would get to eat again. Then we stopped at the dollar store and grabbed some sunglasses, I seem to have lost mine between last night and this morning, and Ashley lost hers 3 days ago in the porta pot, you can guess where they fell!  and out there in the wilderness you definately need a pair because they are like windshields for your eyes, they protect them from unwanted bug entry and dirt in your eyes. 

It was 10 am before we even got to the trail head and unloaded our bikes and gear we needed for the day.  It was our latest start yet, which we knew would make our finish today very late.

When we finally started on the trail, we weren't even two miles in and once again it started raining, I felt like we just never got a break on this trail.  I remember the previous day when it started pouring, I yelled up to the sky and said " can we get a break here?" I mean really 4 days of 100 degrees drinking 2-3 gallons of water a day, hill after hill, and now two days of rain, saddle sores like you wouldn't believe, the pain in our body was to the point it was unbearable and we just didn't feel we could go on.  I was so ready for this trip to be over, but in the back of my mind I knew people fighting cancer must feel the same way if not worse and it helped us to keep fighting, to keep pushing.

At 3 miles in I had to stop, my running injury was flaring up and bad.  I thought there is no way I can pedal through this for 50 something more miles.  It was bad.. So I got off my bike and hit some of the trigger points that I remember my massage therapist did,  and stretched really good I did that for about 10 minutes or so and then hopped back on the bike and by the time i got 2 more miles in the pain was gone.

It took us 3 hours to reach the next town, we had only gone 25 miles. we had to stop and walk alot because the pain in our body from pedaling got to be extreme and walking although it hurt relieved the pain from saddle sores, and used slightly different muscles because we were walking.  None the least we stopped and took a bit of a break at the rail road station in West Newton.  Our next goal was to make it to Boston.  We decided we would eat lunch there and rest for an hour and half or so. 

It was funny because it got to the point we were stopping at every port a john, because I am assuming the water weight was starting to come off.  It was so funny but yet annoying. We could not understand why today we were doing that, when we realized duh all the water we had been drinking days prior was finally trying to make it's way out. 

5 miles into the trip towards Boston, I got a terrible calf cramp, the pain was bad I just couldn't pedal any more. I thought for sure that, this was it that I was not going to be able to finish the trip, so once again we had to stop.  I tried massaging it out, then stretching, but nothing nothing was giving.  I put on the rest of the Tiger balm I had and rubbed some more.  in the mist of this, my sister had left me a message saying how proud she was of me, I had tears in my eyes and knew I could not give up.. Not yet, I am stronger then the pain.  So after 15 minute rest we got on our bike and we just went.  We got into Boston around 2, and caught some lunch at an Italian restaurant. Salad and pasta... just what we needed lots of carbs and a meatball bigger then your fist was our protein.. yum yum.  My leg cramp still wasn't budging but the outpouring of support we were getting from our friends on Facebook, and family was fantastic.  They truly don't realized how much they helped us pull through the rough spots.  After lunch we caught some icecream at the shop around the corner. Well atleast I did.  Even though I was not hungry I just kept eating, because I assumed this cramp was not only from my body not catching a break, but probably the lack of nutrients we needed. I mean we were bearly eating out there. I am sure no where near what we should of been, especially since we were riding so much. we were lucky to eat 1 square meal a day the first few days.  But these last 2 were much better.

While we were eating my husband ran down to the bike shop to get oil for my chain, it was on the verge of snapping from all the dirt,sand ect from the past week. so he cleaned out the grime and oiled up both our bikes.

After ice cream we headed out, once we reached Mkeesport, the trail was all paved, no gravel, no crushed limestone just pavement. That was so nice to ride on.  It was funny though because we actually had to go through town. the way the trail was set up was wierd, but they had some kind of little festival going on and there was a live band playing and an audience sitting in chairs and the trail went right in front of them.. Felt so bad for it, but there was nothing we could do.  The trail took us through the projects, which i ws a little concerned about because the Mace was with JIm.  None the least we did really good once we hit the pavement.  We expected to reach pittsburgh about 9pm.

We crossed many bridges, and still had a lot of hills to battle.  When we got to homestead the trail ended and we had to bust out the google maps and navigate our way to Pittsburgh and now that was scary because we were on the Freeway and well those people don't care, they just have no compassion for bikers. I thought for sure a few times one of us were going to get hit.  It was funny though because we just kept riding and riding and then boom we were in Pittsburgh, it was over.  Although relieved, and a sense of accomplishment, it was sad because that was it our pain, the challenges we faced, the ups and downs, they were all gone, we were done.

Although we faced many challenges, faced some fears, endured a lot of pain, it is no comparison to what many cancer patients have to go through.  Our ride was not about us, it was about helping the American Cancer Society to raise money to help people with Cancer to celebrate more birthdays. 

So I ask you all to please continue helping us to raise money to find a cure, even if you can only give $1 every little bit helps.

Can you go without that Mcdonalds today, or that pack of gum? Can you give up just one luxury today to help someone else to enjoy life longer?

Thank you to everyone who helped get us through this, with your support, your words of encouragement, and donations to the American Cancer Society we were able to successfully complete this trip. 

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