I woke for my third day of riding in the 2,745-mile Tour Divide race in Eureka, Montana. I was still euphoric about having crossed the U.S. border by bike the day before and having achieved four out of the five goals I set out to accomplish.
The injuries I sustained to my foot on the first day were just getting worse and the swelling was not going down. As I did on the previous day, I wrapped my foot in tape and closed my shoe with it as well.
I was packed and rolling by 6:45 a.m. and was intent on covering the approximately 105 miles to Whitefish, MT by sunset.
It became evident in the first 45 minutes that today was going to be tough. VERY tough. I was in a tremendous amount of discomfort right away. It was difficult to pedal in any consistent manner with my right leg given the injury.
Whitefish was going to be a challenge.
My pace throughout the day was very slow. I adjusted my temp basal rate to only a 50% reduction and cut my carb intake back by a little bit in order to facilitate the slower pace. My blood glucose levels were high during the early afternoon, but I was able to get them in an acceptable range as the day wore on.
Each climb felt like it would never end. But I just kept moving, one pedal stroke at a time, and managed to get through the route and into Whitefish, MT just before the sun went down.
When I awoke on the fourth day, my foot was absolutely unusable. It took me almost five minutes just to get vertical. I decided I needed to have a doctor take some x-rays and determine what I was dealing with. I found a local practice with all the required equipment to get it checked out. The damage was a high and low ankle sprain, plus some broken bones in my foot.
It became official. Tour Divide 2012 had ended, 2,300 miles (-ish) earlier than I had planned. When I spread the sudden news, people started calling and texting with consoling words and thoughts. I appreciated the support, but didn’t feel like I needed consolation.
Tour Divide 2012 was the greatest race experience of my life. I stared down my absolute worst fears just by attempting this race again. I persevered with a serious injury to reach the vast majority of my predetermined goals and I was able to make diabetes essentially a non-factor on my journey.
Although I didn’t reach my goal of completing the race, I still proved to myself that anything is possible. I don't feel defeated at all. I feel empowered and victorious.