This weekend was one of many firsts, the first of the firsts being my first century ride. Funny thing, this is also the first time I’ve used “first” four times in one sentence. Stellar.
The trek would begin in Danville and consist of two loops: one 52.5-mile ride and another 49.5-mile ride. Riding the high of last week’s pain-free 80-miler, I was psyched to see how I would handle 100 miles! Just the fact that the mileage consists of three digits was reason to celebrate in my mind.
I met the usual suspects at a Danville high school where we prepped and pumped each other up for the big day. Soon enough, it was time to go.
I rode the first loop with Jared and a new friend, Amanda, and it was the easiest 52 miles I can recall, well, minus the knee pain that came back at mile 32. While I cursed it and silently panicked, Paul urged me to not think about it because I know that my mind is my biggest fault. Like rides of the past, I knew my knee threshold and that I could keep going.
Jared, Amanda and I chatted and talked about life – including husbands and girlfriends, whether or not the “understand” the craziness that is Ironman training, and ushered words of advice for eachother. Before you knew it, we had climbed Dublin Blvd. and made it to Calaveras and back – whoa, 52 miles done.
Despite my knee, I was feeling stellar. I’d like to attribute it to my new fueling strategy of making a PB&J, cutting it into 4 squares, and eating a square every hour (along with my other fuel, of course). Nothing tastes quite as delicious as those little squares do.
Amanda stopped at the first loop so it was Jared and I ready to bring it home for the team. By now, the fogged had burned off and it had gone from, “Oh shit it’s cold!” to “Oh shit it’s hot!” I stripped off my multiple layers, found some banana chips in my car and thought…why not?
If you’re ever contemplating banana chips in your bento box, here’s my tried and true advice: DON’T DO IT. You’ll think that everything is swell and will be shoving them in your face merrily while cyling, then BAM, you don’t chew one just right and the tasty little morsels become sharp choking hazards. HACK-HACK-HACK. Bad idea.
We rode on a just chatted. Jared is faster at flats and downhills, so he would take of for some speed work, then I would catch up to him on the uphill climb. It’s a constant game of leap frog.
By the time we got to Collier Canyon, it was h-o-t and the desolate scenery and slight uphill is mentally trying. But I could see my watch clicking closer and closer to new mileage territory and I would let our an Arsenio Hall arm pump and holler every time I reached a new milestone. WOOT WOOT WOOT!
There’s only one way to explain riding a century: you ride, ride some more, then oh, ride some more. It’s a long day. As we were riding some more, we stopped for water twice as the thought of drinking any more of my Nuun/CarboPro mix made me gag – literally. While stopping at the gas station, I was tempted with a bag of Cheez-its and damn they were delicious by that point. I offered Jared some, but his stomach troubles prevented him from enjoying any of the hydrogenated goodness. Oh, and one more piece of advice, if you decide to dump you Cheez-its in your bento box, make sure you don’t accidentally grab and eat a Cheez-it and a banana chip at the same time. The combo was 50 shades of gross.
Along the way, we somehow missed a crucial turn (surprise!) and once again, found ourselves lost, riding uphill in what felt like the middle of nowhere. By this point, we were 95+ miles in and it was like clockwork. As soon as my body got to 95 miles, boom, I could have fallen asleep riding my bike. I was ready to be done and we were lost with no cell reception. Fabulous.
Not happy campers.
We decided to head back the direction we came until we got cell service and texted our coach. The good news is that we weren’t too far away and made it back for…wait for it…
WOOT WOOT WOOT! (Enter: more Arsenio Hall pumping)
It took us far longer than we had hoped and I could have fallen asleep standing up at that point, but I was ecstatic!
But oh wait, we still had a transition run to do…F. I made it out five minutes until my knee screamed, “What do you actually think you’re doing?!” I didn’t want to press it so headed back and called it a day with a 10 minute transition run.
To say that I was simply tired would be an understatement. I met Chicken Face at home where we celebrated this:
GO TOUGH MUDDER CHICKEN FACE! Super proud of the kid for going out there and demolishing it!
We both crashed for an hour then got up to go to dinner with family. I can report that I successfully stayed awake until 9 p.m. on a Saturday. Just call me party animal.
Overall, I was super happy with day. But just wait until Sunday…