First off, thank you to all of you comments about my wisdom teeth. I guess I shouldn't have waited until I was in my, ummm, mid-thirties. Thanks to ltlindian, I am now rinsing my mouth with salt water and now I really hate Patrick. Sorry Patrick, but running THAT day? I hate you.
So back to ALC, I have dragged this on long enough and now I will wrap it up in a little bow.
Climbing: 22,800 ft
Nights in a tent: 6 (5 too many)
Showers in a trailer: 6
Visits to sports medicine: 3
Lbs gained/lost: +1 (WTF)
Cookies consumed: 8 (hence +1 lb)
Gallons on Powerade: too many to count
Visits to port-o-potty: do you really want to know? I don't...
Tough Chik jerseys worn: 6
Things I did right:
1) I forgot casual socks (only brought cycling) but after my shower each night I just put on the socks for the next day. One less thing to pack and one less item to think about the AM.
2) Brought a new outfit for each day. Some people did laundry on the ride and didn't bring 7 jersey/short combos. For one thing, it is one more thing to worry about and I had a hard time getting my "quick drying" camp towel to dry before I packed it. Can't imagine trying to get a chamois to dry.
3) Trained - one guy told us he went on one 15 mile training ride and a spin class! WHAT! The average Joe can't roll off the couch and ride 545 miles. And if you can, you won't enjoy it.
Items I packed and didn't use:
1) Food - they had plenty and I was too lazy to pack mine up each morning
2) My own electrolyte powder - see 1
3) Makeup - yeah I didn't care about looking cute...way to tired
4) A book - to tired or busy with other "activities - i.e. cycling" to read
5) Long sleeved jersey - base layer, short sleeve jersey and arm warmers were a good combo for me. I did use a wind breaker and rain poncho as well.
Item I wish I had:
1) Cleat covers - I was digging dirt and mud out of my cleats at every rest stop
2) A better way to charge my phone - the solar charger didn't get enough sun at camp and I had know way to charge while riding
3) Lip protection - I had chap stick in my overnight bag but not on the bike. Big mistake.
4) More/Better costumes - When in Rome...
5) Air Mattress and Sheets - We had 2 sub-zero, arctic, polar, igloo-type sleeping bag that cause me to sweat my you-know-what off every night. I figured that our 2 huge sleeping blags and sleeping mats were probably just as big, if not bigger than an air mattress, pump and sheets.
6) Hotel key - I am glad we camped the first time, I really think you get the full experience by camping every night. Next time I am going to "princess-it" and stay at a hotel 2 or 3 night, just to get some good sleep.
If you are considering doing this ride, let me know! I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. I was a great experience and I am so happy we did it! I will definitely do it again, maybe not next year (I have other goals I want to accomplish), but again.