Wow, I road my bike 100 miles! Amazing! First a huge shout out to the organizers of this event. I can’t think of a single thing that could have been better. There were plenty of rest stops that included restrooms, fluid refills, and food. Lunch was fantastic – plenty of choices! Navigation turn stickers on the road were easily visible and there was plenty of bike support.
I convinced my husband to do this ride with me… lol, sucker J! He was a great support and I absolutely appreciate his willingness to do these types of events with me. Prep consisted of our stand ritual of carb loading the night before. After dinner we finished up the last bit of packing and headed to bed. I slept really well and woke up rested and energized. Once we arrived to the starting location we checked in, grabbed a bite and then saddled up.
Mile 0 – Mile 40 – We started off strong. I held a comfortable cadence and pace of 18 mph. We even got an awesome photo opp together!
With a recent bike adjustment I was eager to see if I had taken away some of my pains I experience while on the bike. By mile 20 my right toes went numb. This has been an issue since getting my new race bike. They only go numb if I am in an aero position for long periods of time and it seems that the adjustment hasn’t fixed this little problem yet.
Mile 45 – My quads started cramping. I didn’t have my nutrition up front on my aero bars like I normally do. I figured there were enough rest stations to refill that I didn’t’ need to bring a lot on the road with me – bad idea. I found I didn’t drink enough reaching for my nutrition below. Lesson Learned #1 – Always use my aero bottle and fill it with the nutrition I know works.
Mile 48 – a man was passing by and offered a salt tablet. This is also something I carry on me in every race. I really think that because this wasn’t a race I didn’t take the distance of the ride seriously. I mean I had the salt tablets in my training bag in the car at the start of the ride. Lesson Learned #2 – Always carry salt tablets.
Mile 51 – I reached the lunch stop. My quads hurt so bad that I just couldn’t fathom how I would be able to finish the rest of the miles. The look on my face as I walked into the lunch area speaks volumes (no smiles).
For lunch I consumed anything I felt would help with the cramping. I had 2 V8 drinks, salty chips, grapes, banana & a Pepsi. I rubbed my quads as I ate. When finished I felt better and the cramping had subsided. I don’t drink V8 but it sure tasted great! I also don’t like the texture of bananas but I ate that too.
The terrain I signed up for wasn’t the terrain I was riding. I read on the website that after mile 26 it was downhill or flat from there. There were many rolling hills from mile 20 – 50. I then learned while eating lunch that the climbing begins right after lunch. With the cramping in my quads I started to doubt whether I could do this.
Mile 53 – Mile 72 – Feeling refreshed and refueled I continued on. The climbs were brutal. This isn’t anything I had trained for. Matter of fact I hadn’t been on my bike on the road since my last race early September where I was hit by another cyclist and injured my right foot. When starting up the climb my stomach was still digesting lunch and really made me feel awful. I don’t eat during my triathlons except for the nutrition on my bike. I was able to overcome the feelings after a couple miles. Through the rest of the miles the cramping tried to come back several times. I adjusted my cadence to avoid any lactic build up which seemed to help. Mentally I fought off self doubt. At times I would say “I didn’t train for this” or “I paid to do this to myself?” but I always rallied back with positive mantras – “slow and steady” or “forward motion” as well as singing “Get it! Get it! Get it girl” over and over. I even started singing a few tunes my kids sing to me on a regular basis.
Mile 73 – Mile 100 – At the last rest stop I drank 2 more V8 drinks and Pepsi. Oh, they even had chocolate which I gladly indulged in. I pretty much indulged in all the things I never eat and drink. Also by this point the chaffing was really getting to me. I spent a great deal of time adjusting my position to find a comfortable spot. My left shoulder was burning by this point as well. The last 10 miles I picked up my pace excited to be almost done with the ride. Once we turned the corner to the finish we found that we had another .4 miles to go so we passed the finish and kept riding until we hit 100 miles.
Together we finished our first 100 mile ride safely –
Recovery – My quads were really on fire. The throbbing pain was so intense that I just couldn’t sit still. Once home I ran a cold bath, added two giant bags of ice, and jumped in. I soaked in the tub for 10 minutes. So this isn’t exactly as easy as it sounds. The first 5 minutes is intense and if you have a spouse like I have they will come in and move the ice cold water around and start the intense process all over again…oh the love! It feels so good after the intense feeling subsides. After my first 10 minute ice bath I waited about 2 hours and then soaked for another 10 minutes. I then headed to bed. When I woke in the morning my quads were refreshed.
Things I did well:
- I Finished – there were so many things causing discomfort and fatigue but I fought to the finish!
- I stayed focused and determined overcoming the negative thoughts in my head.
- After my cramping started I made sure to stop at every rest location to refuel. This isn’t something I would do in my triathlon races but this process seemed suiting for the current state of my mind and body.
Things I need to improve on:
- Pack my plenty of my own nutrition and skip the refuel locations…including lunch
- Pack my back up support (salt tablets)
- Train more – I know I had some setbacks with my foot injury. The training I did do before the injury was what got me through this event.
- I need to continue to adjust my bike saddle for chaffing and for my upper body form to minimize the discomfort in my traps.
- I need to look further into the reason my right toes go numb while in the aero position.