"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ride Report: Solvang Century 100 mi Ride - March 14, 2009

Since this weekend's ride coincided with progress report tim
e at school I will grade my efforts for my first 100 mi ride:

Adhering to 100 mile ride Nutrition Plan: EPIC FAIL

Adhering to 100 mi ride Hydration Plan: EPIC FAIL

Maintaining Sunny Disposition while completing 100 mile ride: EPIC FAIL

Maintaining even TOLERABLE Disposition while completing 100 mile ride: EPIC FAIL

Completion of 100 miles on a stupid, fucking bicycle: PASS (barely)

Here is the story...

This week was long, stressful and then culminated in an very emotional and painful event that I prefer to not go into. I followed this shit storm by immediately leaving to drive the 4 and 1/2 hours to Solvang, CA to complete my first 100 mile bike ride that I was both wholly unprepared for and not excited about.

I arrived about 2 hours before my LA Run Buddy and I checked into the hotel and did some work until she arrived. When she got there we were planning out the morning when it became obvious that I had somehow neglected to register for this ride.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Fortunately, they had 'Day of' registration. Day of registration at almost TWICE the price. $105 dollars to be exact.

Again, are you fucking kidding me?

Whatever. Totally my fault.

I got registered and after what seemed like an inordinately long amount if time, I finally got my HIGHLY unorganized, ass on the bike.

Planned start time 7:30 am. Actual start time 8:15.

Again, whatever. Totally my fault.

Getting ready to head out. Yes, I am wearing the same freaking shirt as Napa. It was cold and this was the only long sleeve shirt I had packed. I do own other shirts. Really.

LA Run Buddy all layered up and ready to go. It was colder than we had expected, so we basically put on all of our clothing and hoped for the best.

Miles 0-20

If I am truly honest with myself. I didn't want to ride 100 miles, or 50 miles, or even at all on Saturday. I was worried about the distance because my longest ride ever is 65 miles. Plus the farthest I got in the Cinderella training was 50 miles and my last two long rides were on the trainer due to over a month of rain in Northern California. But, really, my biggest problem was that my mental game was off. WAY off.

I have finished every endurance event I have entered not because of fitness or spot on training, but largely because I am SUPER stubborn and typically pretty mentally tough. Saturday, I just didn't have it.

The first 20 miles went by pretty fast. I adore my LA Run buddy and we hadn't seen each other in over a month. I dumped a bunch of emotional garbage on her and she, as always, made me laugh and feel better. I don't deserve such an amazing friend, but I am damn sure glad I have her.

This is an action shot of us riding out of the first aide stop taken with my Blackberry. After drying out, my run camera briefly came back to life. However, this morning it was pronounced officially dead, so my pictures are few and sucky. I love my big melon head in this picture. Super cute.

Miles 20-40

It took all the internal strength I could muster to turn away from the 50 mile course turnaround at mile 25, and head out on the 100 mile course. I just kept thinking if I continue to move forward, no matter how slow, eventually it will end or I will be struck by a car on Hwy 1 and be killed instantly. Either way, a 'win' for me.

Then at Mile 39 we hit the next aide stop and the HIGHLIGHT of the ride...

I was walking my bike through the stop simultaneously trying to stay out of real cyclist's way and pissing and moaning about the ride, when I hear "RBR!" I turned to see


Ok, now I probably terrified the poor man. I was so excited to meet him and to see a friendly face during this torturefest.

RBR and Formulaic! Next stop Rage in the Sage!
I promise to not be such a spaz then!

This really improved my mood and I honestly believe it helped me finish this ride. We didn't actually ride together since he was, you know, riding faster than my 'slug on thorazine' pace, but it was a real boost to my spirits.

Miles 40-60

There was wind. Then more wind. Then we hit some wind.

But it was ok, because we were riding on a pothole riddled highway with no shoulde
r and semi-trucks passing us at 50 miles an hour. That helped distract you from the wind.

Miles 60-73

Here is where after a screaming downhill you were supposed to turn a sharp corner that was covered in a fine layer of gravel. I yelled, "Gravel" to warn LA Run Buddy and heard her scream as I proceeded to NOT make the turn and went shooting off the road into the side of the hill.

Thank God it was muddy and I just got stuck in the ditch. Here is a little bit of the hill in Santa Maria I got to take home with me (BTW, they warned us about this turn on the ride sheet IN LARGE BOLD UNDERLINED LETTERS that I conveniently ignored)

What I did not yet know is that this was only one of THREE times I would head off road that day. Yessiree I got MAD skills!

Miles 73-87

The longest 14 miles in the history of miles being traveled. Steady, uphill, and looooooong straight aways that seemed to NEVER end. A cyclist at the last aide stop had told
us that it was the worst part of the ride. At least we can't call him a liar.

It was here that I proceeded to ride off the road twice for NO reason. Then I fell over trying to get back on my bike and rolled on my back still attached to it like some drunken turtle. This concerned LA Run Buddy greatly. Well, at least she seemed greatly concerned after she finished snorting out her Gu.

This prompted me to think about what I had eaten and drank so far. Hmmm.... 4 fig newtons, 1/2 a PB&J sandwich and about 20 oz. of water max. I am pretty certain that is insufficient to keep your motor and mental acuity sharp. I know better than this. What the hell am I doing?

I tried to eat and drink more, but I was not doing great at it. All LA Run Buddy and I could think was "we want to STOP fucking pedaling!"

Elevation profile for Solvang Century. See how fun 73-87 was?!

Miles 87-103

Home stretch. My attitude improved at the prospect of being able to stop pedaling and get off the bike.

I had a burst of energy in the last 13 miles, which makes me feel like the horror of this ride was mostly mental and not that I should just give up any hope of making the CdA bike cut off. But I have some serious work to do in the short amount of time left.

My bike computer, the ride sheet and LA Run buddy's computer say 103 miles. My Garmin said 101 miles.

Which ever it was. I was glad it was finally over.


under my own steam said...

Wow! 101 or 103 miles - either way that's a major accomplishment. Rock on! The most I've ever done in a day is like 75-ish miles. That 73-87 mile part looks like hell. Did I mention that that is a major accomplishment? Jeez o peet.

Did you know that they make water bottles that you can attach to your bike? And, they make these things that you can attach to your bike that you can take food in so you can eat while you're biking? Just kidding.

I hope the ride helped with your emotional stuff - it usually does me. And, I hope you got some serious food and drink after. And, I hope you gave yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it.

Southbaygirl said...

First of all I still wish I could have made it to Solvang. But I was just getting home at 8am-yeah I would hjave missed the entire race! But I promisew I was with you in spirit! I guess you didn't feel my positive vibes that were flying thru the wind from LA to Solvang.

But your race report made me laugh! I'm sorry it was at your expense! I sure wouldn't wish that!!

Some days you've got it-obviously saturday was not your day! But you did it! You finished and you didn't let the demons and your mind win!! That is a win in my book!!! You have a blackberry? So do I!! We could blackberry messenger each other!!!


Tina Mickelson said...

Wahoo... you did it and its over. Someday I'd like to ride in the Wildflower, you should come up! I think its April 26th this year... you can scope the route for me. he he he he

Glad you and LA Run buddy had some laughs, those are good memories to have from this crazy ride hu?

Klassenator said...

Yikes, sounds like it was an adventure.

I'm proud of you for finishing:).

Your fig newtons and PB&J probably not enough... I'm sure you were grumpy (like how I used to get in the lab). Did you have your pre-race coffee too and just not add it to the list? If you didn't, I can see why this ride was absolute hell for you.

Again, proud of you for finishing!

Jo Lynn said...

Too bad you suffered like you did. You are a lot like me though, stubborn as a mule! If I signed up, damnn it I am gonna finish. Good job. You have a very nice friend too. ;)

Anonymous said...

I am so glad we work in kilometers, so when we say we went for a century ride it is only 62.5 miles. Which is far enough for me.

I would never think to ride that far for fun????? My furtherst ride for this IM is 150km (93.75miles) and we only done did that once.

Calyx Meredith said...

You did a century (+)!!!!!!! Yay RBR!!! I'm jealous that you got to see LA Run Buddy and Formulaic - but am not jealous about anything else in your day. So sorry it was such a slog!! The mental side of this endurance sport is crazy important, isn't it? If you can get through Solvang given all that was against you - you know you'll be strong enough for IMCdA. Hope this week is better on the mental/emotional front!

Diana said...

Woo-hoo for getting it done under such shitty circumstances! Nothing worse than doing something you really aren't in the mood to do and then be able to mock the hell out of it as well! Atta girl!

ShirleyPerly said...

Congrats on getting it done!!!

I think my first century was probably the hardest bike ride I've ever done. Take what you can from this experience and THROW AWAY the rest. You rode the distance, finished strong, got to meet up with fellow IMCDA'er Formulaic, learned the importance of nutrition on the bike and your mental game. All of these will help you get 5 steps closer to the finish line of IMCdA!

Kelly said...

I just have to tell you that no matter how awful you feel about something your humor is amazing! You really could have done the whole "poor me" routine...but you handled it nicely and somewhat gracefully :)except for the whole falling over like a drunk turtle..he he he

Go Mom Go said...

You did the distance
AND you learned alot!!

Congratulations on the ride and the accomplishment. I hope that you remember that you have done this! It will help you mentally as you get closer and closer to CDA.

Good job!

JenZen said...

100 miles - WOW!! FREAKIN' awesome no matter how it was completed - it was completed. great post!

Aileen said...

I could never, ever do that so you are, yet again, an inspiration to me. And I don't think your head looks like a melon either!!!

Aron said...

WOW that is amazing... to be able to ride 100 miles, let alone when you are not excited or pumped about it is a HUGE accomplishment. CONGRATS!!!!

glad you were able to hang out with your friend and have a good time :)

santa maria!! thats where i grew up :) exciting place.

Anonymous said...

Man, centuries do seem like they last forever, don't they? Well, you may have gone off roading 3 times, but at least you weren't crashing into other riders. I read someone else's Solvang Century race report and she said there were a ton of riders crashing into each other, and even a fancy schmancy roadie who came to a dead stop at a stop light and flipped completely over on his back while attached to his bike. So you were in fine company, it seems.

And despite all of the pain, you managed to make at least me snort out loud with laughter at work!

Eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty. I play copycat, and every time I see someone around me take a swig of water, I do it too, regardless. But I am sure you already know all of this - some days are just not good ones for long rides.

IronWaddler said...

Great report. I love your description and emotion. I have to say that I laughed almost the whole thing.

You are my hero for hanging in there. I am nervous about my first century.

Stef0115 said...




Mmmmmkay . . . .?

SO GLAD you met Formulaic and congrats on a grueling ride. I have yet to ride a century. For now I will sit back in awe of you for pushing through!

Lindsay said...

i am glad you did not get creamed on hwy 1 so you could live to give us another awesome race report. 100/101/103, they are all awesome! i would personally be claiming 103 minimum...

you are a far greater person than i. i once set out on a metric century ride (what's that, 64 miles?) and turned around for the 25 mile course. :( way to gut it out.

S. Baboo said...

Boy have I had days like that. Hey, at least you can credibly blame the human - bike interface for falling on your ass...I somehow can't operate my own feet and end up face first in the dirt.

BTW, I was just dropping by to let you knw that the GeekGrl and I are registered for IM St. George...hint hint.

Reese said...

Great job, and you must really be fun to ride/run/swim with.

Lindy said...

Well...despite how poorly you may think you've done (and we all know how hard you can be on yourself), I think you are totally AWESOME and you continue to inspire me.

Signing off and getting off the couch,


The Stretch Doc said...

but it was all fun and you had a good time, right?.. Formulaic said it was great to meet you and I see your coming to RAGE! Awesome..cant wait to meet you as well!!!

and I see your ticker just went to 90 days on CdA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

see ya soon.