Tuesday, June 02, 2009

My first Century

No, I'm not 100. Yet.

But I did ride my bike 100 miles on Memorial Day for the first time. In fact the longest I had ridden before was 56 miles in a three different Half-Ironman races over the years. And one 51 mile training ride. With my upcoming Ironman and it's 112 mile bike leg I know I needed to have done a lot more riding but was really finding it hard to get motivated to do long rides. Fortunately for me I have a core group of great friends that love me and one of them, Margherita gave me the needed kick in the pants to get out there and made me do it.

Having run six 100 milers you would think that 100 on the bike would be a piece of cake for me but it is a totally different sport than running and although I like riding the bike it just doesn't do the same thing for me that running does. I love to run. I'm a runner. I can enjoy a ride for an hour or two but then I'm ready to get off and that is just not enough if you are planning to ride for 7 hours or so and hope to have any energy and legs left to run a marathon. Margo knows this and being the good friend she is, she planned this ride for me and made the arrangements to help get me through it.

The plan would be to meet at the Scott home at 7am on Memorial Day. I would ride a series of roughly 25 mile loops and she and Bill and others that could make it would take turns riding loops with me so that I would hopefully have company for the entire ride.

We met at the Scotts home in the Riverwood Neighborhood outside of Clayton at 7am. Bill and Margo would be riding the first loop with me. We were also joined by Brent George a triathlete and former coach with TriMyCoach. He hasn't done an Ironman but is very fast at the shorter distances finishing 2nd overall in the Riverwood Sprint Tri last month. Also my friend Thom Asta was riding. Thom is the one I wrote the song I'm an Ironman for 2 years ago before he headed out to Phoenix to do his first Ironman. The pace was going to be very slow for these two strong riders but I really appreciated them coming out and making it a fun morning.

The first lap was slow but I wanted to start easy and taper off so it went exactly to plan for about 24 miles. We refilled our bottles and Bill stopped to take a break. Thom left for home so Brent , Margo and I headed out for lap two. We picked the pace up a little on this one and I took a turn leading out in the aero position for a while on a long slight incline but let Brent take the point again when we turned back toward Clayton. We went about 29 miles that lap and when we returned Karla was waiting for us.

Another refill and this time Margo called it a day and Brent went home. Bill was ready to ride some more so Karla , Bill and I headed out again. By 60 -65 miles my quads were starting to ache and I was getting a little worried but just kept plugging along. We kept up the pace though and did about 26.5 that lap.

Karla had not ridden her bike since last September but you wouldn't know it the way she was riding strong but one lap was enough for her so Bill and I headed out alone for the last 21 miles. I told Bill about how my quads had been aching but as we headed out they were feeling fine again and I actually felt better at mile 90 than I did 25 miles earlier. I must say that we were both glad when we made it back the last time. Bill ended up doing about 71 miles which the longest ride for him.

My plan for hydration and caloric intake worked out great and I had no problem with my stomach so I was very very happy with the way it turned out. Thanks to all of them and especially Margo for putting it together. Afterwards the Scotts hosted a Memorial Day cookout for us and several neighbors capping off a wonderful day.

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