Saturday, November 2, 2013

Race/Ride Report: 2013 One Can Ride (30 miles)

This morning was my big ride. Race. I'm really not sure what to call it! It was a group event. Sort of like a "fun run" since there was no timing or awards! LOL

I managed my anxiety much better this time. Ok, I ate my way through my anxiety - probably my weight in Halloween candy! But that's OK. At least I slept well, despite the sugar high and the resulting crash.

One of the best parts of this race was the fact that it was less than 10 minutes from my house. My alarm was set for 6:30 and I didn't need to leave my house until 7:50 for a 9:00 AM start. Easy Peasy! But then my tires wouldn't inflate right. I wasn't sure if my pump was broken, or if my brain was the one that was broken, but I figured I'd just ask for help when I got to the start.

I hadn't gotten anything pulled together yesterday and that was a big problem - left me scrambling around in the morning more than I needed to. And in the end, I ended up forgetting my Road ID at home. But I had my driver's license on me so it wasn't a big deal.

My friend, Jill, had signed up for the race, too, and she had already arrived when I got to the park for the start. It was chilly this morning and I had layered up. I do not have any cold weather cycling gear, but I made the best of it. We quickly got checked in (no race number?? no tee shirt?? LOL) and hit the rest rooms. I borrowed her pump and got my rear tire to take air but still couldn't get the front tire to work. I took it over to Bruce from Apalachee Cycle and he had no trouble at all. User error, I suppose. But I think I'd still like to get a new tire pump soon.

A little nervous but ready to go!
Me and Jill
We all gathered around to get ready to start. I turned on my Road ID app and then we waited while the 68 mile course riders took off first. We no more got on the road than my 'Stationary Alert' started going off. It stopped beeping at me, and I assumed that it had realized I was moving and turned off, but apparently that was not true. I learned later that both my husband and my mother had gotten the email indicating that I had not moved in 5 minutes. First they texted me and called me but I didn't answer since I was on the road. So then they contacted each other. My husband was actively tracking on the map for the app so he figured I was OK. But that stressed them both out until I texted at the rest stop that I was half way through. At least now I know that if that alert is going off, you HAVE to turn it off! :D

Jill and I stayed together through the course, and I cannot begin to express how much help she was for me! For one thing, shortly into the ride, people start shouting things out and point at the ground and stuff and I was all confused. Apparently, in a group ride, you shout things to allow people to know when there are cars coming up behind you, or if there are things in the road to watch out for, or if there are cars coming or the route is clear. This is stuff I wasn't really prepared for, so I'm glad she was able to explain that to me! She was also a huge source of encouragement! And it was nice to have time to catch up with her since it had been awhile since I'd seen her! She is a true blessing to me!

I'm glad I had driven the course on Thursday, but I seriously underestimated the number of hills. Seriously. Wow, I'm not sure how I did that. But you know what? It wasn't all that bad. There were many long hills and I just spun up them, and only a few hills that left me terribly out of breath! The rest of the hills weren't tough to manage at all. THAT was incredibly surprising to me! I am feeling much, much better about the idea of doing the Olympic distance tri next summer - even if the course is hilly. I have months left to get more practice on the hills! And I am already so much stronger on them than I was this time last year!

One thing I have to say that I love about the whole "bike race/ride" thing? The rest stop! We pulled up and this nice gentleman offered to hold my bike for me while I walked around and stretched my legs. And check out the food they offered:
Yummy goodness!
Yes, those are cookies and brownies! Can you even believe it?? Sure beats the heck out of energy gels and gatorade!

We stopped for about 15 minutes and then took off again to finish the course. At first, my legs were confused. LOL But they settled back in nicely. I was feeling much more confident on the second part of the course which was good because the traffic was much heavier. I even rode over the railroad tracks, instead of walking over them! Jill rode up ahead of me and I just followed her path!

That last hill at the end didn't end up being as bad as it had looked, and then we were at the finish. Or rather, our cars, because there wasn't a finish line! LOL

I did it!!
I can't believe how good I felt at the end! I probably could have kept going, at least for a little while! I had a massive fail on my nutrition/hydration plan, so at some point, I probably was a BONK waiting to happen. I drank probably three or four times on the whole ride. I only ate at the rest stop, and that was half a sandwich and a handful of Honey Stinger Chews. (No, I was too afraid to eat the cookie and brownies for fear of a tummy ache @@). That was NOT smart and I was lucky that I felt so good at the end. Yay for adrenaline.

And yay for a free lunch after the ride! They had hamburgers, hot dogs, and chili! I took a very yummy hamburger and ate it up in a hurry! I also had Cheetos and a Coke! I meant to grab a banana, but in all the excitement that was my junk food marathon, I forgot! ;)

So, if you haven't already figured it out - I had a great time and I am feeling strong, and excited, and much more confident in my cycling ability! My Garmin says that we averaged just a little over 12 MPH which is wonderful considering all of the hills! I am completely thrilled and so excited to do another cycling race/ride again one day!

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