Sometimes in life we 'bite off more than we can chew' This ride was a perfect example of this.
Although the initial taste was delicious it was soon followed by acute indigestion, and nausea. I bonked. After my previous weeks blistering pace in The Hotter N Hell (Texas) my confidence was high.
I was a Mule, my hooves were on fire, and my maine was once again ready to flow in the wind. I had some high equine standards to keep up.
I knew my American Mules would be neighing at my progress, especially as I was the sole mule representative in this UK 100 miler.
It was also the first time that our distinctive red and blue livery would be seen upon these shores.
Joanne our first female Mule also was taking part in the 100 km ride - all in all it was an auspicious moment in Mule history.
I set off at about 7 30 am wearing enough layers to be compared to an gigantic onion.
It was a chilly start.
There was also a strong south westerly headwind that was forecast to increase as the day progressed.
With this in mind I decided to push off hard knowing that I might get some assistance from nature on the run in.
After 30 mins I was pulling a long pace line at well over 20 mph.
The heat generated from my efforts left me wishing I had left my thermal long sleeved shirt in the car. I was poaching. like some over sized 'boil in the bag' recipe.
After 45 mins I was still pulling and twitching my elbow like mad.........No takers !!!!
After 60 mins I twitched my elbow, patted my bum and looked over my shoulder for support........still no takers.
After 90 mins I sarcastically shouted out 'Am I pulling all the way?'
My words like my efforts seemed to be lost on the multi coloured train behind me and I was well cooked. I had been in the red zone for far too long and it was time to slow down a little.
Just as I tempered my cadence an even faster pace line hurtled past on the outside.
It was an open invitation, too good a chance to miss.
Instinctively I jumped on the back leaving my own line floundering behind me.
Although I smiled at their demise, I also cursed myself as I watch the blur of the second drink station pass across my eyes.
My bottles were nearly empty.
In this new group I was definitely punching above my weight, clinging onto their back wheels as my I could hear my heartbeat racing to keep up with my ego.
After 55 miles there was a compulsory stop where you had to check in. By then I had averaged a not too shabby 23 mph.
I was on course to get in well under 5 Hours and smash my Personal best. The buzz was immense and My adrenalin was making me feel quite giddy.
Foolishly I just booked in and out believing that I could survive to the next drink station.
When I was in Texas I drank at least one bottle every hour and was totally disciplined about it. Now in England this had all 'gone to pot', deceived by the more temperate weather. I had also forgotten about my fluid loss during my poaching session
After 60 miles my legs had decided that they were no longer interested in my instructions.
Willfully they had decided that they wanted to go at their own pace, one considerably slower than what I was requesting.
After 78 miles I got to the final drink station. It was at the same time that my body had formed a firm alliance with my legs. Although I drank loads and it did wet my throat, I was still thirsty and this new and sudden volume of liquid made me want to throw up.
My legs now trembled like like a dog performing its morning ritual.
She had a small fluffy dog in a basket at the front that 'looked on' curiously.
On spying me the dog winced and shook his head in utter disdain, before hiding behind his elderly companion.
Maybe my frothing mouth was a giveaway.