I knew going into Saturday's 'century' ride was going to be tough. In fact, when I told Toby I was planning on doing the ride she made a face. You know, that face that says "Really? Are you sure you want to do that ride? I know you are a bit fragile and questioning your riding, so that might not be best for you" look. So I checked in with Laurel, who also did the ride a few years back and she was nice enough to find me an alternative ride option. AKA, it's a hard ride. But after talking about it with Coach, we decided to treat it more as a mental challenge. Goal 1, don't cry. Goal 2, don't worry about speed and especially speed going up hills.
So I drove up to Westminster, MD, paid my $50, got my cue sheet of 67 miles (there was a 33 mile loop to finish the full century) and headed out with Sandy and Jen. The first 20 miles weren't too bad. I was doing a pretty good job with my hills and focusing on other things than my speed. I got to the rest stop just as Sandy and Jen pulled out, I refilled my water, and headed out myself.
The next 29 were a bit tougher. And not just because it rained. Yes, the temperature was perfect, the overcast was nice, but the rain - not so much. It was good practice, but still... No fun. Another rest stop, more water, and I was off back to the starting point.
The last 20 were more climbing, with one really hard climb (stupid Kate Wagner! That was the name of the road and whoever she was, she hated bikers) 1 mile from the finish. After 2 wrong turns, I finished the first loop around 68 miles.
100 miles was never my plan. 90, if I could make it, 80 would be okay, 67 if my mental game failed me. So, I was feeling okay and went back out for the 12 mile loop. And it rained more. So when I was done, with more hills than I wanted, including Kate Wagner (pictured on the right. It never looks as bad in pictures, but you can't really see the bottom of the hill and you can see a guy walking up the hill), and I was done. And the skies opened up even more so 12 more miles just wasn't worth it. 6 hours, 81 miles. No tears. No being angry at myself about my speed.
And when I got to the post ride food, THEY WERE OUT! All they had was peaches (no peach pie or cobbler, just peaches) and goldfish crackers. I did see a women the size of my thigh with 3 pieces of pizza, however she took the last of it because they were out. I HATE it when races/rides/events run out of food. It feels like a slap in the the face for being slow. But the peaches were pretty good.
I called Karen to let her know she was right and I was fine. I sat in my car and listened to the rain and waited for Jen. When she got back I took off to make sure Sandy was okay. Apparently the sheets of rain didn't hit her so she was fine and also finished the full century.
Overall, I was happy with the ride. I went into it knowing it would be a hard, challenging route. And it was. I would be more comfortable with IM Moo if I was a bit faster. Not a lot, just enough to make me more confident about the bike time cut off. Riding the way I am, it will be close. With a flat, or really bad heat/humidity, or something else - who knows. But I can focus on 1 more build week. And that is what I am planning on doing.