Friday, April 4, 2014

My Longest Ride Ever


This photo was taken by Steve Driscoll at the top of Double Peak, which is a tough climb by itself (in fact the climb *to* the climb is tough!) but on this day, Double Peak rose menacingly from our route at about mile 105. All told, I finished this day with 115 miles under my belt, over 11,000' of elevation and about 7 hours in the saddle: officially my biggest day ever. 

I started the ride unsure I would be able finish but as the miles went on ... And as Shelly Driscoll's amazing support service including gels, cold washcloths and bananas kicked in ... I began to feel not only confident I could survive but that I might THRIVE. 

Couple things that I think really helped. 

1) The support of our amazing group. Everyone worked together to keep the pacing appropriate and no one got dropped. 

2) Proper nutrition and hydration before, during and after. Again - big thanks to Shelly for adding to what we had in our pockets. As for my pockets, I made a conscious effort to carry a variety of flavors and textures so I could look forward to each snack rather than dread it, choke it down or worse, skip it. 

3) A nice day. It was perfect. Not too hot, not too cold, not too windy. 

4) Chamois cream. Like, duh. 

5) The chiropractor. Been having a real pain in my neck lately. And my last race report featured a pain in my back, too. I also have been dealing with a strange sensation during racing that I thought had something to do with hydration. I lose my hearing and get "stuffed up" in my ears. Turns out it's because my neck vertebrae were twisted into some nerves up there. Once freed I was free of that annoying symptom AND I even set a new functional power threshold. I think adjustments are de riguer from now on before big rides and races. 

The ride featured a super gorgeous loop through Fallbrook, Temecula, Rainbow, Valley Center, Escondido and San Elijo Hills. The Gentlemen threw in three dirt sections as well as they prepare for "the worst day of their lives," the Belgium Waffle Ride. 

Afterwards I uploaded to Strava (my Garmin short-changed me 75% ... That's another story) and shared some photos. This week, Strava reposted my Instagram and that introduced me to lots more followers and riders so thank you Strava!! If you're here thanks to their posts, thanks for stopping by :) 

Anyway, thanks again to The Gentlemen and the ladies who came out for this most awesome ride. Next week: 116 miles. ;)