This would be the icing on my endurance season cake....the 102 mile Harvest Century.
I choose to do this century because it was the first century I had ever done last year and want to build a tradition on it. Come this morning if you asked me if it was a *smart* decision to do a century ride a week after I had raced a marathon and hadn't been on a bike in over 3 weeks or that I hadn't ridden over 50 miles on any given ride since the end of August I would say "No, I'm an idiot." But now that all is said and done I will retract that *idiot* comment. I am not an idiot, I am an over zealous triathlete that likes to push her limits, BUT knows her boundaries. Now, on to the good stuff....the ride its self.
To start the day off right I end up stepping in some kind of bees nest (it's still dark) in the park. Suddenly I start firing off at the mouth "$%#%$#$% ^$^$% %$^%^$ ^%$$%#$" Lol, Darrell said he's never heard me throw out so many F-bombs in such short amount of time. Immediately I was stung 3 times, once on my ankle, then under my arm pit, and then on my wrist. WTF?! After my serious freak out we made our way over to packet pick up. I grabbed some apple cider and a bagel and we went back to set up. That's when I got stung again. The damn bee was hiding in my warm up pants! F%$%$#$%#$@#$@$. We arrive back at the car to set our bikes up and what do I see? A bee in my sports bra, down in my %^$$%@# cleavage. Mother of God! Quickly I flash a few people and sho the bee away, thankfully I didn't get stung again, that would have sucked. I was really hoping that my whole day wasn't going to go like this. I already was prepared to suffer, IMO it was inevitable, but the bee stings I could have done without. A quick set up and we were off...
Miles 1-15. Pretty non eventful. I focused on keeping my heart down and power low...in fact I focused on this the entire ride. Aid station 1 came up at mile 15, we had to stop as we had to cross the river on the Canby Ferry. I confessed to Darrell I was scared. My energy levels at this point were really high, I felt really good. I knew this was a facade. At aid station 1 I grabbed some red potatoes and trail mix to snack on. Mmmm, good stuff.
Mile 16-30 Coming off of the Canby Ferry you have a straight ascent. I'm not sure what the elevation gain/grade was but it was short and steep, a lot of people walked their bikes up. It's always fun to try to clip in your pedals going uphill with zero momentum. Lol, some guy next to me said "You held a nice pace" once we reached the top. I replied that I had to, I only have a standard double and was in my easiest gear, which BTW is not easy...match strike 1. Aid station 2....potatoes,graham cracker with PB and jelly.
Lol, I got a lot of comments on my white bike shorts during this time. Got picked up by some Velo cyclists and held a 22 mph pace line with them for a good 30 minutes. But sadly I ended up getting dropped. Had to keep my HR and wattage in check.
Mile 43 - LUNCH
A bit disappointed here, last year they had Baja Fresh...this year it was under cooked baked potatoes (which I had been eating at the aid stations) and vegetarian chili. Blah. Body and energy is still feeling pretty good at this point.
Aha! Time muscle fatigue kicked in. Around mile 52 or so Darrell caught back up and we both confessed we were hurting. My quads were starting to burn. I knew this was going to happen but I really thought it would be a little later in the ride. The pain was bad, I was dropping speed. Although my energy levels remained high I didn't have the power in my legs to go fast. At this point I decided to try out my GU with Roctane, It's a gel with added amino's that help slow down lactic build up. Shit you not I felt better within 20 minutes. That pain I experienced at mile 52 never came back....I did have other pain later down the line but that was different. Aid station 4 - Trail mix and fig newtons :)
Lots of rolling hills and one big hiil. The rollers were a nice change of pace....I enjoyed them for the most part. I was still keeping my HR and wattage down and felt pretty comfortable. Power Gel gummy blasts SUCK. Soooo gross, I spit it out.
Aid station 5, last one. Chocolate Milk! The best snack of the entire ride!
Energy was still pretty strong but my legs were toast. We had a few climbs near the end that hurt. There were about 2-3 that you could see from a distance and each time I loudly said "Fuck Me". All my matches were burnt. This was the first time ever that I have not been able to climb up out of the saddle. I don't make it a practice but if it needs to be done I've never had a problem doing so....well today I did. I tried to get up only to have my quads yell "Sit the %#$& back down" so I did. When body parts yell I really have no choice but to listen. So each climb I had to sit in my saddle and slowly pedal up. Me, walk a hill? NEVER.
102 miles and 6 hours and 17 minutes of riding later I reached the finish....Woot! Woot! This was probably the best century I have ever done.....in regards to regulating energy and nutrition. It is also the first ride over 80 miles that I have not had GI or acid reflux issues. I think there are a few things that made this successful. 1. Apple cider vinegar. My mom said that a lot of people get acid reflux because their tummy doesn't create enough acid...so she suggested I take 1 Tbsp to 8 oz of water. I was skeptical but was willing to give anything a try, I mean how do you know if something will work/not work unless you try? So I had a glass last night and then one this morning. 2. Mixing in salty or savory foods. Usually I just eat my Powerbars and Nuun. I've tried many different types of bars, gels, gummies, sports drinks...they all make me sick over time. Today I ate salted potatoes along with trail mix and the occasional cookie/graham cracker at each aid station. I also drank 3/4 of a can of chicken broth which I kept on the back of my bike in a sports water. Everything fit like pieces in a puzzle.
One HUGE disappoint factor.....the whole reason for riding was for the caramel apples at the finish...and there were none. No Baja Fresh for lunch, no coffee with breakfast at the start, I was stung many times by bees and I didn't even get my caramel apple. This event I have decided will no longer be a tradition. Darrell and I opted for Popeye's chicken to recover. Popeye never lets you down.
Power Wattage data (pathetic I know)
Max Speed 39.3, Avg Speed 16.2
Max HR 180, Avg HR 150 (perfect)
Max Torque 40.79, Avg torque 6.19
Max Power Watts 372, Avg watts 124 (so sad)
Max watts per KG 6.26, avg 2.08
So this is it....the end to my endurance season. This year I reached and beat all of my goals I had planned on.
*Completed 2 centuries and countless 60+ mile rides
*PR'd Olympic distance tri
*Peaked for both Half Iron's. PR'd the first 4th AG place and then PR'd the second, 1st AG place. Took 30 minutes total off of last year.
*Ran my first marathon and qualified for Boston.
*Managed training much more efficient and didn't bonk or hit too many walls.....compared to the previous year that is.
*Raised over $5300 for cancer research
*Have done Pilates 2-4 times weekly for a year which I believe has helped in performance and keeping me injury free.
*Swam my first 2.4 mile swim
*Signed up for Ironman Canada 09
Now it is time to take the next 4-6 weeks off from organized goal oriented training. Time to have some fun and let loose. Will probably have one too many drunken dancing weekends, but I do have a lot of time to make up for.
Oh yea, time for my 2 month dating season......a 9 month sabbatical can kill a girl!