Petra and Cathy joined Gary and me for the planned 63+ mile ride this morning. We started out at 6:30 am rather than the usual 6 because (unfortunately) the days are getting shorter. I'm not too thrilled about the shorter daylight hours because I tend to be one of those solarpowered truck drivers that all the other drivers gripe about. No, I don't shut down at 3 in the afternoon but anything past 10 p.m., I'm not worth anything. James used to joke that you could set a clock by when I started yawning at night.
Anyway back to the bicycle ride, everything was great until we hit the chip seal junk on Hwy 11. It felt like my brain was rattling around in my skull! We all let a very loud "aaahh" once we hit smoother road again. It's amazing how quickly rough road can sap all your energy. Overall, I felt fairly strong, even led the paceline for 4 miles at one point. Petra has not been able to train much so she started flagging after about 25 miles, still was able to keep up but you could tell it was getting harder with each mile. She still made it all the back to the bicycle shop instead of stopping at 40 miles like she originally planned so she did good. Cathy is a strong rider so I'm sure she could have kept it up all day, she's also a marathoner so you know she's got the endurance.
We made it back to the shop with 58.6 miles at a 16.4 mph average so I think we did great considering we had to back off the pace for the last 20 miles. Gary and I had already made plans to ride the airport loop afterwards to bump our mileage up some more in preparation for the BDB 100 in Sept. Visited for a while, refilled one of my water bottles (should have filled both, ran out before we got back) and took off with the Lerchers until we reached Queensway. They went right to head back home and we turned left and this is where things started going downhill for me.
My stomach started growling letting me know that it was way past time for some real food (snacked on Sharkies and a cashew bar during the ride) and I literally started drooling when we passed the Citgo station and I could smell the deep fryer grease wafting out to the road. You know it's bad when that stuff smells edible. Still managed to dig in and keep a decent pace until we made the curve just past the airport. There's a long, almost imperceptible incline that sucked the energy out of me, I started flagging bad here and started dreading the real hill that was coming up. Gary dug in and just left me at that point, it was very reminiscent of when I first started riding with him on the hills. I struggled up at 9.7 mph in the middle ring (didn't have to hit the granny ring though!!). Got through that and found a shady spot another mile or two up and I had an Accelerade gel--the strawberry-kiwi is good by the way. That gave me enough of a boost to make it the rest of the way but I was still starving. Final total was 74.69 miles in 4 hours, 50 minutes, and 39 seconds--average dropped to 15.4 mph.
First thing I did when I made it home was fill up a plate with last night's leftovers. Didn't even heat it up I was so hungry. I have got to do some bragging on James here. He cooked a black-eyed pea gumbo for lunch yesterday and Mediteranean (spelling?) leg of lamb with veggies for supper. DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And he got up this morning and cooked me breakfast before the ride. AND did all the dishes! I am a very lucky woman.
Followed up the food with a long soak in an ice bath to reduce the swelling and achiness in my legs. Brrrr, it can be miserable but it's worth it in the long run. Managed to resist the temptation to take a nap and made a very frustrating trip to Wal-Mart. Harding starts back next Monday and the place was packed with students and their parents stocking up on last minute items. James and I then met Jason and Bill for a round of disc golf. I was actually doing quite well for once, most holes were just one over until the large coffee kicked in and I had to drive to the gas station for a bathroom. They have restrooms right beside the skate park and basketball courts but everything was padlocked up.
I would like to get a 5 mile run in tomorrow but to be honest I would be okay if I only end up with 3. My lower back and left butt cheek is sore and my legs felt dead when I jogged to the pickup and back on the bathroom run.