Monday, May 12, 2014

Goldilocks Century

Saturday I rode my very first ever century bike ride. It's a 100 miles on a road bike. Me and my friend Lisa Calderwood signed up for it a few months back, and I've spent the past 8 weeks on an intense training schedule. My weekly mileage increased steadily, until I rode 70 miles a few weeks ago. That 70 mile bike ride was tough. It was raining and windy, I had no support, and was riding in the mountains with a lot of hills.
I was looking forward to riding with other women (it's a women's only ride), and utilizing all of the rest stops. I also figured that even though the 70 miles was the most I could handle, this 100 miles would be different, since I could draft behind people part of the time.

The night before any big day is always restless for me. At 4am I got up to eat breakfast, giving myself plenty of time to be fueled for a 7am start time. Lisa picked me up at 5am, and we made it to the starting line by 6am. That hour before the start time flew by! Before I knew it, it was time to take off.
I started riding with Kristen Bellows. We were among other women going similar speeds, but lost most of them at the first rest stop. The first 55 miles were great. I was taking turns pulling and drafting with Kristen and this other girl named Sarah. At that rest stop (55 miles), we turned around and headed back north. (by this time Kristen was going a little slower, and we left her behind)

The headwind was insane! It was necessary to ride with other people, or I ended up working twice as hard. I tagged along with a Papa Bear for a while, which was nice, because then I didn't have to take turns pulling. Unfortunately, he had to come to the rescue of another woman, so most of the way back into the wind was taking turns.

It really amazed me when I saw women riding close to other riders, but not close enough to take advantage of the windbreak you can get by riding right on someone else's tail. I was all for doing as little extra work as possible.

Lunch was the 4th rest stop, at 72 miles. By that time the idea of a turkey sandwich didn't sound appealing to me at all, so I stuck with watermelon and cantaloupe. Right before Sarah and I were ready to head out, we saw two women we had initially ridden with before that first rest stop. The ladies in Red were going our same speed, and I knew we would still have a lot of headwind to face. So as soon as they took off, I made the extra effort to catch up with them.

The four of us (ladies in Red, and Sarah) rode the next 15 miles together. For some reason, they didn't have another rest stop until mile marker 95, which meant there was a 23 mile gap after lunch. I had really been drinking a ton of water to try and prevent dehydration. There was no way I could ride another 8 miles without stopping to use the restroom. So I decided to stop at Walgreens, and realized I would lose my riding party for the biggest hill (with headwind) coming up.

As I started back up, I was a little deflated mentally. The hill looked so long, and I knew that it would take a ton of extra energy to make it up. I was just chugging along, when all of a sudden a random old guy on a bike passed me. He was only going a little bit faster than me, so I immediately pulled behind him. I was like night and day! I was able to easily ride up the hill at a 10mph pace, where moments before it was taking all my energy to go 8mph.

At the last rest stop (95 miles), I caught back up to Sarah and the girls in Red. I was still feeling good, and finished strong.

I spent 7 hours and 25 minutes on the course. I used Strava, so I know my actually moving time was closer to 6 hours 30 minutes. That was right in my goal range.
Joe and the kids were at the finish line to cheer me on, and give me some pretty roses. I sure felt loved!
In the future I'd definitely like to ride another century. There are so many to chose from in Utah! For the next few months I'll just ride my bike for fun (mountain and road), and maybe do another organized ride in the fall after Swiss Days. I really need to focus on catching up on my doll furniture building, since I've fallen behind. Time flies!

** Once the professional photos become available, I will add them to this blog post


Mark A said...

Nice work Goldilocks

Lisa said...

What a ride that was. I was thinking about it yesterday how hard that wind made the ride. I don't know if I'll do a full century ever (I'm still proud of my 92 miles) but I definitely want to keep riding. Thanks for doing some training rides with me. You helped push me through. Wonder woman Jessica!

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