Izzie picked me up Saturday morning from my house at 2:20am and we were on the road at 2:30am to Davis. The group we were riding with had a roll time of 4:30am. We were READY to go! ..... except I forgot ALL my nutrition at home. CRAP! Well, we will see what it is like fueling off the course (+mooching off my nice friends). There were 10 of us, and all pretty comparable on the bike so assumed we could ride together most of the day.
Heres a picture of the sunrise at about 5:30-6am
When I did this ride in 2008 (I think my previous post said 2007...but I was lying when I said that, it was definitely 2008) we were in shorts and short sleeve jerseys at 5am, it was nice this year to be "needing" a windbreaker and long fingered gloves. The first about 50 miles and pancake flat, a nice warmup. The we head into the hills...
It was gorgeous, and WAY easier than 2008. I kept thinking that all day. I think it was easier for 2 reasons.... #1) it was literally 20 degrees cooler and #2) I have about 3,000 more miles of training under my belt. We climbed Cardiac Hill and Honey Hill. We were all riding strong and dreading Cobb Mountain, that was the impending "doom" of the ride.
Here are 4 studly ladies looking strong..
We hit Cobb Mountain, which is an 8 mile climb with a steady 12% grade. At this point its now at least 85 degrees out (still a blessing it wasn't 105, but we haven't had any ride time with temps over 77 this spring yet). This is where the group 10 starts to break and people start to hurt. I made it up, no problems...Izzie right on my back wheel. We pass lots of people climbing, and NO ONE passed us! HOLLER!
Here is a group of us at the top of Cobb (and my first time having SODA on a ride!!)
I'm a sucker for team morale, so I was sad when people started hurting. Bev was having bad asthma and needed to ride slow. Dana's back was hurting her, so she rode ahead with Bev to take it slow...and Greg joined them as a manly escort. From Cobb Mtn we had a bit more climbing and then a GNARLY descent, and followed Tom and Phil at this part. On the descent we caught Bev, Dana, and Greg and rode with them to lunch. I was hoping lunch would help morale and we'd all finish strong with good attitudes! Here is 9 out of 10 of us (wheres Steve?? I think we lost him once people started to split into smaller groups...opps, good thing hes very independent and has done like a million doubles)
After lunch we had about 2.5 more climbs that are biatches and then its "relatively" easy back to the finish. We split up after lunch into our smaller groups. Dana was hurting and said she didn't want to get dropped by us and so took off ahead...alone. Bev and Greg were going to ride slow. Phil and Tom would ride and wait for Bev and Greg at rest stops. So, me, Izzie, Melinda, and Janet were left together. We climb Resurrection Hill and it seemed like CAKE compared to 2008! Here is end part of the gnarly descent from Resurrection
At this point it is mile 140. And we have 63 miles until the finish. Well, I am the young runt of the group and I take my "freshman" position in the front....pulling. I literally pulled 50 out of the last 60 miles. OUCH. But, it was what everyone needed. I am even surprised how strong I still felt to pull. There is a scary section of road, and when we'd pass someone I'd offer that they hop on to the pace line. And we definitely had some people hold on to our line the rest of the way home. I pulled pretty fast, because we realized that we could QUITE POSSIBLY make it back before we needed lights. So that was our goal...and we did it!! AND - we caught Dana with 5 miles left til the finish.....she finished strong, I don't think we would've been ABLE to drop her! ;) My garmin died at mile 192 (11 miles from finish) and at that point was 12 hrs 20 mins ride time...GREAT TIME!
So, here is us 5 ladies at the finish...
We enjoyed some good grub and drove home. I sat in a hot shower and climbed into bed. It was a great day! It gave me great confidence for IM CdA! And it was so fun. I only a had a couple of problems:
#1) forgot my nutrition...ended up not that big of a problem. But wish I had my "own" endurolytes...but I stole enough from friends
#2) my back hurt...from the beginning. I think it was sore from having my period and sleeping bad. But it was annoying for 203 miles.
#3) I had a weird twinge in my left upper hamstring/butt.....never fully cramped up, but I was scared by it threatening too.
#4) we all had MAJOR saddle soreness. Izzie made a joke at mile 190 (when she thought it was just us 4 ladies) and said "Whos having sex tonight?!" to which we all groaned.....and then found out we had 2 men drafting off our line. But I'm sure they were hurting just as much as we were!
and the WEEKLY TOTALS.....
time: 24 hrs 55 mins
ytd time: 562 hrs 45 mins
time: 5 hrs 30 mins
ytd time: 192 hrs
distance: 13,900 yds
ytd distance: 833,600 yds
time: 16 hrs 25 mins
ytd time: 230 hrs 15 mins
distance: 255 mi
ytd distance: 3,319 mi
time: 1 hr 30 mins (oops)
ytd time: 104 hrs
distance: 8.5 mi
ytd distance: 615.8 mi
and one last cute picture from the Davis Double of me and Izzie...my IM CDA partner!