Monday, May 5, 2008

First Century+ Is Done

Yay! I have officially completed my first century! 105 miles of the Raven Rock Ramble.

I thought I would feel a bit better this morning, but I think I'm almost as tired this morning as I was when I went to bed last night. OMG. And, my legs don't like moving around too much either this morning. I almost feel like I need to go back home and go back to bed. I really don't feel too hot right now, but I want to get this typed up and posted, so I'll continue on.

The ride started around 8:30 Sunday morning under very nice conditions and the weather turned out great. It was a beautiful day - blue skies, not many, if any clouds. I'm not sure the number of people who rode the RRR, but there were 425 registered. I started near the front because I knew that on any hills, I would be getting passed, so I would just fall back to another group. I started too fast. You can just about guarantee that I'm gonna do that. Anyways, within the first 15min or so, I got hooked up with a woman I've ridden with at the Wednesday OMV rides (Frederika (sp?)) and her friend and a guy.

I rode with them for just a short while. The women were gone shortly, either on up ahead in a faster group or slower. The guy and myself got in with a group of people who would do the same stuff the peleton was doing at Burnsville. Speed up, slow down, rinse, repeat. There was a wreck just waiting to happen in that group. So, the guy I'm with decides to break away from this group. He goes past me and I jump on his wheel and both of us leave the group. Our little break away didn't last very long. The group caught back up to us and it was rinse, repeat again as far as speeding/slowing. It was like this for the first 13 miles. At this point, you had to decide on the metric route or the century. We know what I chose.

I skipped the rest stop at 13 miles so that I could hang on to the group doing the century. I found out later that I was with the faster century riders. So, anyways, I stayed with this group till we hit the first real "hill" and me and another guy were dropped. Might not have been dropped if I hadn't had to kill my speed using the brakes on the descent. Damn people wouldn't get out of my way and with double yellow, I didn't want to go being foolish. This guy and I rode together till the next turn, where his friend was waiting on him. Us 3 then attempted to bridge a several minute gap. Right. That's gonna work. Not. We get to Lillington and hook up with a woman that got dropped out of that group we were trying to catch.

The four of us rode together until the climb up into town, where, as usual I got dropped. I keep them in sight though and worked pretty hard to catch back up. Too hard as usual. Then it was off to the freakin' races again. We could see that first group ahead of us. There's the carrot. Now, I'm getting a bit tired. This pace is too fast. I lose a wheel. I can't hold it. Damnit. There's the large group ahead of us and then a single rider. My 3 people get the single rider and I'm left again. Fine. I can catch these people. I set off holding a pretty steady 20-21mph pace. I settle in, feel pretty good, thinking I can catch them. But, just me trying to catch that group wasn't working. I needed someone else to work with, but there was no one. I never caught them.

When I realize that I'm not going to catch them, I ease up a bit and just figure some other group will come along and I can jump on. Well, lo & behold, here comes my friend Neal and about 5 others. Neal is pulling and as he comes up to me, he tells me to jump on. Whew. I was never so glad to see some riders. I ride with this group for a while. Then we get split at an intersection. I'm with the group that gets past the intersection and we ride slowly until the other half (that includes Neal) gets back with us. Then, the pace just exploded. Off they friggen went. Damn. Neal bridges but can't quite stay with them. Eventually, it's just me. Occasionally, a rider will pass me and I'll take his wheel for a while. But, probably the last 5-7 miles before the rest stop at 40 miles, is solo.

Neal and the 2 guys I rode with in Lillington are there. I refill the bottles, eat half of a snickers bar and then Neal and I are off. We ride together for a while, talking a bit about the ride. Then here comes Mr. Tri-guy. Neal is ahead of me and I take Tri-guys wheel and he pulls me up to Neal. Gawd, I'm tired now. 45-48 miles in the book. Tri-guy's pace is too much for me. Neal grabs his wheel and off they go. I don't really remember if I saw Neal after that or not. He was doing the 87 mile route. I couldn't talk him into the 100. And, there was no way I was going to do just 87 miles. It was 100 miles or nothing for me.

So, now, I'm riding solo into the wind. I'm hating it. Where is everyone?? I think that was the longest 30 miles I've done in a while. I didn't think I would ever get to the rest stop at 70 miles. Trying to conserve the fluids too. Finally reach the rest stop and have half a bagel & cream cheese. Lord knows, how long that cream cheese had been sitting out in the heat, but it didn't make me sick. Re-fill the bottles again. Then I'm off. A couple of guys catch me and pass me. All I'm thinking now is I just want to finish this ride. F my time and average speed. I don't care what it is. I just want to finish.

I don't know where I'm at, but 4 guys come along and we are rolling sorta slow as there are a couple of intersections to go through, so I latch onto their wheel. I was so glad to see these guys. Top it off....they all have very nice legs!! :) I guess we're somewhere around 75 miles, don't really know. We ride a double paceline and I take my turn, I seemed to have renewed energy. Must of been riding with all those guys. So, me and the other guy pulling turn us onto Lick Road. My friend Jay knows where this is...down near Sanford. Anyways, it's a short downhill and then up to Lower Moncure Road. This uphill, of course leaves me leading the rear and then the guy I was pulling with passes me and gets about 15' in front of me when his right hamstring cramps really bad on him. He manages to unclip, still in the center of the road and cannot move. 2 of the guys wait, but then say they are going on as myself and Patrick (one with the best calves:)) stay with Cramping Guy.

The 3 of us head on towards the last rest stop at 91 miles. Am I done yet? For the whole ride, I had no cramping issues...that is till around 85 miles. We're just cruising along easily, side by side and next damn thing I know my right quad muscle (
vastus medialis obliquus) cramps. OMG. Can we say extremely painful?? I could not pedal with this leg. One-legged pedaling to the intersection where we stop and I try to massage it a bit. Good enough, now, lets get this over with. Again, Patrick pulls us all the way to the rest stop, where I re-fill bottles, drink more, eat a banana w/peanut butter & some chex mix. Off we go...13 more miles.

I have to turn any display of distance off the computers. Change the PT to show kJ and change the Garmin to something else. Looking at the distance countdown would make the remaining 13 miles seem like forever. It still seemed like forever. But, ya know what?? I've gone farther than I ever have. 91 miles in the book. I hang with Patrick & Cramping guy for about 2 miles, but I'm so tired. I just want this to end. I couldn't hold their wheel any longer. Next to last turn. 5 miles left. I ride those 5 miles with a guy who has only been riding for 3 months. He's doing his first century too.

Last turn. 2.5 miles to go. Uh oh. A grade. A cramp. I have to stop for a minute. Back on the bike. Pick the pace up a bit and try to not look so worn out as riders who are finished are passing me in their cars headed home. Turn into the park, make it to my car. Stand there, just in awe of what I have just done. Holy Crap. I just rode 105.107 miles! Hell Yes!!! Sitting here typing all of this out this morning...damn. I did it. Andy said that I could do it. I didn't manage to "start slow to finish fast" tho. Oh well. Next time. Did I say that out loud??? Next time?? Will there be a next time?? Most likely. Why not? I think I will probably do another one. I've got a time to beat now.

So...that's it. I've got a couple of pics, one at the 40 mile rest stop, where I'm all smiles and one at the end, back at my car. I'll have to post from home though, as I can't seem to do it from work.

105.107 miles
6:28hr ride time
7:04hr total time
16.3mph pace

This one is at the 40mi Rest Stop. Next one is back at my car after just completing 105miles.


Bryan said...


wolfpack said...


Pugsly said...

Way to go Karen, that was way more ride than I could have done - the metric was enough for me!


wolfpack said...

Thanks Jon. I think I'm gonna try it again next month!! Maybe by myself 'cause I doubt I'll get any takers and I want to try and improve my time. I'll prolly take the Camelbak along so that I have somewhere to carry all the necessary fuels.


Pugsly said...

You should come do the Greensboro Amtrak ride with me - 83 miles

wolfpack said...

when are you doing that ride?