Last Saturday I embarked on my 3rd 100 mile ride.
The 1st was too soon after my crash to be awesome, and I played it quite safe by stopping every hour or so to refill bottles and get off the bike to make sure I felt well enough to continue. It was a good confidence booster to remind myself that no matter what happens I CAN get through this, but it took me so long, and I was so tired, that I can barely legitimately call it a century.
The 2nd one went surprisingly well. At mile 40 I couldn’t believe that’s ALL I had ridden – I should have been at mile 75 for how my legs felt – but I reigned it in and kept my energy and strength level and consistent by backing off a little, eating what felt like a lot, and drinking what felt like even more.
With my 3rd century being so soon after my first and second it was a little more challenging for me to get myself excited about spending another 6 hours with… MYSELF! Luckily the Seattle Century was happening and I figured at least I’d have a pre-mapped and marked supported course to follow, and maybe I’d meet some cyclists along the way.
Within the first 15 minutes I met a friend to ride with, within the first 2 hours I got fresh pie, and when 100 miles was said and done I had climbed over 5,100 feet. Success!
I highly recommend the 100 mile ride to anyone looking to get in that kind of distance. It was incredibly scenic, well-marked, safe, and the event allows riders to start early (a plus so you can choose to pace yourself however you please OR take off before you risk congestion). I hear the other rest stops had great food too but I only cared about pie and getting done. The ride was a tough hilly course, and I pushed myself in the second half of the ride to keep up through all of the climbs and descents (I’m silly a bit wimpy), but it was a beautiful route through Woodinville, Redmond, Duvall, Carnation, Fall City, Snoqualmie, Issaquah, over Lake Washington, and back to Magnuson Park.
The 100 mile distance is still hard for me to wrap my head around, and to combat that I find myself focusing more on time and landmarks than mileage. It’s similar to when I first started running in that a count of miles sounds impossible, but if you can break it down into 3 or 4 chunks pretty soon you’re halfway done, and in the blink of an eye there’s only have a tiny bit left. Though my “almost home” landmarks are still about 20 miles from my front door, once I get there I know I can make it. I’m definitely going to have to find a few of these on course in Canada to keep me motivated and happy.
If anyone is looking to ride the Seattle Century next year let me know! I’m definitely in for more pie. 🙂