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Most of Day2....

 Day Two was a day of many unique challenges.  To kick it off, I woke up too early and didn't get back to sleep.  So I laid as quietly as I could, blogged, took cell phone pics, and read my book.  It is funny but I believe others were in the same situation.  They were up and out by 4am or a little after.  I got up around then to roll up my sleeping bag.  After all that I slipped into my clean bike shorts and   last years PMC jersey.  It was oddly gratifying to be sooo close to finishing.  Right after reveille, I got my bag all closed up and trucked it on out of the ship.  My legs wanted no part of that nonsense let me tell you.  The stairs/plank entrances had not been much of a challenge other than balancing the night before, now?  they were thoroughly unwieldy elements of torture!

Off to get some food, I think I had a sandwich and some yogurt (to be fair I don't think it's distance from the event that has wiped my memory on this front.... ), if you'd have asked me at that moment, I don't believe I would have known, nor would I have had the brain cells to look down and tell you ;-).  To top it all off, I couldn't get my shorts seams lined up and obviously I had a rubbed spot from the day before.  GRRRRRRRRRRRRR.  Oh well, the show must go on.  I headed over to the bike farm and grabbed Bets.  I was ready to go, but it was only like 5:10 or so.  The mass start for people returning to Wellesley, not heading to the traditional P-town finish was at 5:30am.  So I stood to one side with other gaggles who might be doing the same.  Well that theory worked until I found they were teams forming up to depart.   I shifted further afield and found around 15 compatriots, none of us though had ever ridden this route.  At 5:30 we were very twitchy because there were not many more of us.  Uhm oops, what's that group starting on the other side of the lot... bet that was us... A-yup it was.  We took off in our lone 20'ish pack to try to catch up.  

So off we went, it was still twighlight and hard to see.  THe people in the lead couldn't see the signs, but I could see them clearly so I took the lead for a mile or two as we wound thru town.  Then off everyone went, setting blistering paces to catch up.  I tooled along, feeling bummed as more and more passed me.  Evidently they had slept in and didn't want to do the mass start.  Now that's demoralizing... I don't know how far behind us they started, but here they were team after team of 2-5 people blowing by me.  I just kind of kept people in sight and followed along.... Worked great until about 2 miles after a set of railroad tracks I came upon the core of my pack pulled over consulting each other maps etc... I hadn't seen a sign in a bit, but I was just following.  Ooops, we were about oh 2 miles off track, we doubled back and picked up the course.  On we trucked.

I was easily left in the dust at this point.  Not long after that, this pic was taken as I slogged up a hill.  I didn't realize there were other riders behind me until he asked them if we were the last riders.  They said in effect how should we know, to which he replied going well then huh.  Snort, that still cracks me up.  So then they wizzzed on by me.  After them, I was riding alone for a while.   Singing "one is the loneliest number", ""she's going the distance" and so on.  Sunday was a trial.  It was a training ride at times, but more than that it was a test of my mettle.  I was unsure I could.  I felt like crying, I felt battered, bruised and raw.  It seems odd now, but for each of those feelings I felt grateful and exhilarated!  I was doing it!  I was riding, and to be fair the physical aspect of riding felt good.  It was not my body letting me down as much as it was my emotions.  I was overwhelmed.  I was doing this on the wings of so many donors!  So many people lost, so many people saved, so many who had been saying thank you.  I still do not quite process all the thank you.  It's nothing is what comes to mind as a response.  However if I recall miles 50-70 on day one and much of my wallowing on day2...  it is something.  It is a feeling of giving supporting and love that  so far, I only find here.      

On I slogged, at the first water stop, I regrouped with some humanity and from that point on I didn't feel like a singleton.  There was one guy who I kept trading off with, every mile or two we would switch lead (2-3 blocks usually separated us).  We slogged on until an interesting incident (which I have yet to hear back from PMC organizers about...).  I think I was in Bridgewater, maybe West Bridgewater, coming up a hill toward a PMC photographer when from my right there seemed to be a pop and  whine / wizzing sound in my vicinity, followed by a thud as something struck the house/ porch to my left, on the other side of the road.  I was going uphill so obviously I slowed, but kept pedaling because I could not process the sounds. The photographer had a look of concern/consternation as well. I asked if someone had shot a bb at me. He said, not no, but I hope not. I hope he  remembers the woman on a semi-recumbent bike with baby blue and pink streamers so that he can help the organizers place where the incident happened.  Afterwards, I kept thinking that bb's don't whine... so air pistol or firework of some sort comes to mind... 

Onward i slogged.  There was a tremendous do it your self waterstop for us in a restaurant parking lot not much farther ahead.  It felt amazing to stop and get an orange slice and some water.  They were so sweet and were some of the few spontaneous cheerers along our route.   After a while, we integrated with the riders from the 47 miler we had done the year before.  It was going up a hill not long thereafter that one lone man sat with a lifesize poster of his wife who had died in 2007.  That poster was so detailed, I felt I should stop to read it, but I also felt if I stopped... I might not restart.  It was interesting that right around 7 miles from Sharon, the last waterstop, that I started overtaking people.  I guess my training was enough.  I felt I could not stop (mental), but I also felt that my legs had it (training).  I passed a pair of ladies and when I crossed the Sharon line, I yelled we are in sharon!!!  And the three of us whooped and hollered like we were  at a pep rally.  I guess at that point, we were... our own cheerers...What I didn't realize is that we had to cross to the other  side of town to hit the waterstop (gahhhh).

I'll bring you in the last 19 miles sometime later..... Hope you've enjoyed thusfar.