Jan’s story – Day 5

The big question was answered at 5:30. Can I move or was I being hopeful to think that I would be racing. I am still at odds to understand how my body healed so well overnight. I suppose one could say that many hands do lighten the load. I was less stiff where it was hurting last night and my left hip and quad not the size of the balloon I expected. The hip-flexor is weak and the expected afters-stiffness from the tumble present but it is all within the realms of being manageable.

I timed things so that there was ample opportunity to loosen up on the bicycle before we set off at 8:00. Today was approximately 61km and the profile resembled Dracula’s teeth before he had seen an orthodontist.

Ten kilometres in, I was convinced that I would be able to hang on and told Grant that we can push on if need be. The first two thirds I was in control as we rode along smooth contour roads that allowed us to stare into the distance for miles. The views are breathtaking and humbling.

It feels as though the stage started off smoothly and gradually became steeper, more jagged and taxing. This may be the case but it could also be that my body wained the further we rode along.

It is exceptionally quiet in these places, but the last third of today became deathly dark and quiet in my head as I searched for fight and vigour to get me over the interminable rises up the sides of daunting mountains. There was a chill in the air that was draining heat out of the body quicker than the sun was pouring it in and I found that with the passing of every descent, my legs struggled more to regain a rhythm and the power needed to move forward demanded more fight from my brain.

The finish came at just the right moment and the reward for sticking it through and riding as well as we did a welcome change to what we endured since yesterday. It is fantastic to still be a part of this race and in good health.

One more day, 🤙🏼!