Sunday, August 5, 2007

Covington Century - Holy Hell

That sucked... The goal was to stay with the A group at 25 mph and finished the century in under 4 hours. I did this ride last year for the 50 mile loop which breaks off at the 40 mile mark but got dropped at 33 miles.

This year I had 5 large water bottles, 3 packs of Cliff blocks and 6 gels. I was ready. Started at 8:00 am about 1/3 of the way back in a pack of around 100 people. Large groups of people were passing on the left side of the road and I ended up about 2/3 of the way back very shortly. I never really got comfortable and my heart rate was over 180 bpm 5 minutes into the ride. Oh, did I mention it was hot. I hadn't counted on the extra water bottles adding weight to the rolling hills, the legs were feeling it. Probably should have brought only 2 smaller ones or a camelback.

I stuck to the food plan and ate every 20 minutes for the first hour and finished off 1 bottle (now ditched at the 25 mile sag stop). We were a few minutes ahead of schedule for the first hour. Tri Mark (don't know his last name) demonstrated how to relieve himself while riding on the opposite side of the road for the entire peleton to witness (only 1 mile before the turn around sag stop where everyone stops for a nature break anyway) - clearly marking this ride as his! I saw and talked to 7 or 8 people I know from the group rides around town.

The second hour had more climbs and the pace was high on the climbs which made sure people were consistently falling off the back (this is where I dropped last year). Now I'm hanging around the back of the group (because people are disappearing off the back) and the sun is starting to come out. Between starting to over heat and sour stomach from the blocks and gels my food intake slowed, along with the water. This was not good because I was working even harder. I saw the turn off of the 80 mile loop and then another sag stop (4 or 5).

Then it happened, at 48 miles... the engine shut down... and the group was gone. Crap. I'm now 2 hours in, stuck on the 100 mile loop and no one around. Not only did I have to slow down but everything shut down. It became hard to ride at 15 mph. I was done. The sun was all the way up now creeping into the 90's with no shade anywhere. The road was deserted other than an occasional triathlete blowing by every 1/2 hour or so. All I wanted to do was be done. I drug myself to the sag at mile 75 and camped for a little while in the only shade I had seen in hours. Bob and Sue pulled up on the tandem, smiling and looking fresh... while I looked and felt like road kill.

The ride to the sag at mile 91 was pathetic. Slow. Painful. The blacktop felt like it was literally cooking me. I stopped to look at the map a couple of times to find short cut but nothing looked like it would make much difference. I almost stopped at a gas station for AC and food... then realized I had no money on me, doh! Did I mention it was hot! I kept looking for shaded any areas near the side of the road to pull over and just lay down for a few minutes... nothing anywhere. Who picked this route and set an early August date to do it. RTarded. Bob and Sue came by again and told me to jump on. This was great... back up to 23+ miles an hour, hr up over 180 bpm again and I'm for sure ready to die. Thanks for the help but I'll see you later. 8 miles down the road I roll into the sag at mile 91. I'm over heated and feeling sick. Found a nice big chunk of ice to cool me off in the shade for a few minutes. I'm now thinking if I try to get the last 9 or 10 miles back, I'm going to be sick for sure. I want real food and if I push it I won't be able to eat until way late tonight. Oooo, is that a car picking someone up. Had to muster the energy to get up and walk 20 feet to beg for a ride back to the start. Hell yea, a bribe of $20 gets a ride to the start. (at least for conversation, they didn't really want the money) My health started to degrade as I wait for them to re-arrange the bikes to get mine on. (A husband who rode the 50 was picking up his wife and a friend who were also over heated). We made it about 2 miles down the road when I had to ask them to pull over so I could puke. Nice. Second time in a month. They were very nice about it and I felt 100% better.

Back to the car, alive. Bob and Sue parked 4 cars over from me? Huh. They were relaxing and gave me a Mr. Pibb. Nice. What a harsh day... not fun. All I was thinking about out there in the heat, alone was I could be playing with Aidan in the pool today. 24.4 mph avg speed till I was dropped - 19.1 for the day (sad), 3566 ft of climbing (though it felt like a LOT more), 161 avg hr. This is the first goal I've set for this season that I haven't been able to reach so it gives me something to shoot for next year. I'm disappointed but only slightly.

covington.jpg

1 comment:

  1. Ouch.Sorry buddy. We'll get it done next year.

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