When I woke up in Logan at 5:00 am on Saturday I couldn't stop think about how strange it was that I had actually paid a good amount of money to torture myself in an all day event. Fortunately I had a later start time so I was able to get in a good breakfast and some last minute preparation on the bike. At the starting line there was a lot of anxious and nervous folks. I had to laugh at the guys that couldn't stop sizing up their competition. Everyone has their own way of dealing with stress; if I remember right I was singing primary hymns in my head (I Am a Child of God).
I'll spare you the details of the 11 hour ride and just say that there was a great deal of suffering that occurred in the 206 miles between Logan, UT and Jackson Hole, WY. You learn a lot about yourself in a race like this; the emotions range from the incredible feeling of joy when you finish a long steep climb, to the dark and evil places your mind goes when you're in the flats in a nasty headwind. My goal of breaking 11 hours was missed by 3 minutes. Although there where multiple times through the day that I thought, "What in the HELL am I doing" it wasn't 30 minutes after the race that I was already planning what I could do different next year to do it faster. I can't explain it, but it has to be some kind of mental illness.
I couldn't have made it without some great training partners and an awesome support crew that included Paul Harber, an my imaginary friend that was with me on the Geneva Summit and Salt River Pass. The biggest thanks goes to my sweet wife for supporting me through the last few months and not complaining about the long Saturday rides.
I'm definitely in need of a short break, but I'm sure it won't be long before I'm planning the next event.