Last year I rode my first century ride and was completely gassed at the end (and through the remainder of the evening as well). This year, I only committed to the 50 mile effort since I had to leave the following Monday for a work trip.
After seeing the weather forecast however, I knew I made a good choice. My cycling computer was registering 93 degrees by 10am during the ride this year, and I can only take a guess at the humidity. I remember wearing a vest until the 50 mile mark last year, and being quite comfortable...
This year's ride started out markedly better than last year, when I overslept and missed the group start by 30 minutes. I actually got up early this time, ate the banana rice pancakes from the Feed Zone Cookbook I made the night before, grabbed a cup of coffee and got to the starting area with enough time to get a proper stretch/warmup in.
|Team Omaha Steaks (L to R): Chelsea, Me, Karl, Cassidy, Steve, Maria, Heather|
Our team met at the starting line and rode together for the first few miles. We all had different routes and speeds in mind. Karl and I planned on riding together, and the others formed up a separate group after the neutral start.
More than Half Way
Karl and I were riding strong. We were taking turns pulling, he on the flats and I on the climbs (he pulled way more than I did). I had never ridding the route and will now argue with anyone who tells me that the midwest is flat. As we rolled into a rest stop at 35 miles, I looked at my watch, 9am, we were making great time. I texted the news to my wife to let her know I would be home ahead of schedule - instant brownie points.
As we got ready to roll out however, I noticed riders were continuing east, the opposite direction of the start. Not good. When I asked one of the ride marshals if this was the turn for the 50, the answer didn't surprise as much as it did deflate. "No, this is the on the 75 and 100 mile route."
We had missed the turn and it was now decision time - retrace the route or head down a busy and hilly highway to complete the loop. We optioned for the latter and headed due west. Just about that time wind decided to add insult to injury, switching from a whisper of a tail to a less-subtle head. Awesome. More miles + more hills = more time and negative brownie points.
The final 21 miles went something like this. Climb, descent, flat, climb, heart rate spike, descent, sagging head, goosebumps, stop for a Coke, sagging head, goosebumps, finish, joy, beer, more joy.
Only a few extra miles (6.8, but who's counting) and about 1000 additional feet later, I realized that I was out of shape and that I need to train more in the heat. Regardless, we made it home safe and still had a great time. And Kelly eventually forgave me for worrying her by saying I would be home in an hour and a half, but showing up 2 and a half later. Eventually.
Here are the ride stats:
Thanks again to everyone who supported both my fundraising efforts and other members of our Omaha Steaks team. We couldn't do it without you!
Extra: My Ride Nutrition
So I will start by saying, that even with a good plan, the heat still caught up with me and gave me some nice chills and goosebumps at the end of the ride. Regardless, here is what I consumed out on the bike:
2 homemade granola bars (300 cal each)
3 Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews - Cherry Blossom
3 bottles (20 oz) of mixed Skratch Labs Exercise Drink Mix - Rasberry
2 bottles (20 oz) of water
I really should have hydrated better the day before and the morning of, but c'est la vie.