About 5 years ago…..I road in the “Hotter-n-Hell” bike race held at the end of August in Wichita Falls, Texas. It is the largest bike race in the United States and it always lives up to it’s name. “Normal people” can’t ride very far in the North Texas heat without running into problems but us “elite athletes” just need a slight “bump up” in our training and and a few days of getting used to the bike and we are fine. 🙂 I decided to ride the 100 Kilometer race (about 62 miles) instead of the 100 mile race….not that I couldn’t have done the “whole enchalada” but…… anyway.
I had great equipment for the race.
- Specialized Composite-forked aluminum Racing Bike (thanks James) …. “black” (aaaww yea!)
- Helmet (white to offset the black bike) – to protect my noggin.
- Speedometer/Odometer to tell me how fast/far I had come
- Spandex – to cut down on wind resistance. (might have tried to lose some weight to cut down on the wind resistance but that is for another time
- “clip in” shoes. To push AND pull the crank.
- Water Bottle. For the journey
- Cell phone – in case of emergency
- Extra Tubes in case of a flat
- Wet towel to keep me cooled off
To go along with the equipment I LOOKED GOOD! Spandex and all!
After a couple of weeks of “mild training” in the neighborhood, the day of the race came. I had planned my race strategy perfectly: “when I get tired I will stop pedalling and just COAST…. That way I can rest and I’ll still be moving forward…..cuz I’m on a bike, duh!” That was my game plan…. genius! After all, it worked in training…(when it was 75 degrees and I rode for about an hour.)
The race started well… after 10 miles (84 degrees) I was a little tired but feeling fine.
- At Mile 20 (86 degrees) I was uncomfortably hot
- At mile 30 (90 degrees) I felt horrible
- At mile 40 (96 degrees) I was almost delirious
- At mile 48 (99 degrees) I stayed at the rest stop for about 20 minutes
- At mile 55 (101 degrees) I pulled over under a juniper tree ready to “curse God and die” (ha!)
- Then at mile 61 (101 degrees) less than 2 miles from the finishline…I BONKED. My body literally locked up.
- So I stood up and COASTED. Then the bottom of my feet cramped.
- In the flat wasteland that is my beloved hometown, I ended up literally falling over on the side of the road and leaning against the guard rail.
- After a few moments of cramps and convulsions I sat down in thorns that had grown there with my spandex offering very little protection (but I could not ohave cared less…add thorns in my fanny to the list of ailments at the time).
- Other riders who came by asked if I was OK and of course I told them “that I was fine” never mind I was sitting in thorns, tears running down my face (kept the sunglasses on) and could not actually raise my arm to wave them along.
- I was dehydrated, sick to my stomach and dizzy….AN ABSOLUTE MESS!!!
……… ALL BECAUSE MY GREAT RACE STRATEGY WAS TO “COAST”
MANY OF US HAVE THE SAME STRATEGY FOR OUR FAITH… WE END UP BEING ABSOLUTE MESSES Because our plan is to COAST in our faith.
SO HOW DO YOU COAST? RATHER..HOW DO YOU NOT COAST???
GLAD YOU ASKED….. cuz we will be looking at that question for the next three days!!
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
SEE YA TOMORROW!