Monday, June 2, 2008

Century description

All the centuries I'd ever done before were planned- I knew a few days/weeks ahead of time that I was going to tackle them. It makes for a very tense night the night before- you start to worry about what you should or shouldn't eat, are you hydrated enough, did you pack the right snacks, enough snacks, is your motivation still high, blah blah. You check and recheck the weather, wondering if it's going to be ideal for this most taxing endeavor.
Well yesterday's century was way better than that. I started off going on the club ride- it was a slow paced 25 mile ride- out and back sort of thing. It was the kind of ride that really doesn't take much effort, so that was good. Finished up the ride and went for the longest lunch ever with Davigail. I drank some soy banana honey smoothie thing- so filling. David wanted to ride more, so I was in. I'm not going to bother to try to describe where we went because I quickly zoned out- I love that about letting someone else be in charge- I don't have to think about directions. It really makes the time/miles pass much more quickly.
We rode for a while having great conversation which too made the miles fall away. Because I wasn't even considering a century, it's not like I was checking my computer- I don't think I looked down at it once. Had I planned for it, I would surely have been counting each tenth of a mile sometimes, evaluating and re-evaluating how I was feeling- did I need an Advil, should I be doing any stretching, more frequent stopping? It seemed that each intersection we got to where one way was towards home and one was extending the trip, we took the extension.
I'm not sure at exactly what point David got it in his mind that it was century day- I don't think he expressed it until close to mile 70. I was still riding great- there was just something about the day, we both felt so strong. It was really invigorating- I don't recall ever feeling quite so untired on such a long ride.
Anyway, at one point David asked (or did he tell?) me to finish the century- there gets to a point of no return're just so close. I only have a handful of rides in the 70 mile range...I think by the time I committed, we only had 26 miles to go- after having ridden 70+, I felt like I could've walked my way to the century.
We grabbed some snacks/drinks at Piermont and headed back down the trail- I think Gu blocks are my new favorite cycling food. At one point David told me I looked nervous- and that might have been a little true- because at that exact moment when we were riding off after committing to the extra miles, was the first time I had that I-planned-this feeling. But I knew it would be ok- I felt so good.
We ended up back at Nyack and just couldn't beat the sun- we stopped at his house to grab some lights and clothes and finished the last handful of miles in the dark which actually was pretty cool. I had never ridden down to Hook Mountain at night- there's one part of the road where the air temperature drops by like 15 degrees- it's only right near the moutain, but it's like riding through an air conditioner. So refreshing! Was that a bear in the woods?
I didn't love that I almost got pinned by three cars- I mean the kind of close call where I actually yelled out in fear, not just the pissed off yelling. I so did not love that, too many close calls. Speaking of too many close calls, we came upon this turtle who surely would've gotten run over- a few minutes and no lost fingers later, we hopefully had him back on his way to his home. So cool- that guy was big!
We rode back from the Hook and David rode with me back to my car so he grabbed a few extra miles overall, especially since he dropped like five objects during the course of the day and had to circle back. Dirty trick.
I kind of feel like I need to do one century a year, so it's good this is out of the way, even though we're going to stp which is back-to-back centuries. After last night, I already feel like I'm ready for it.
But wait, both of those centuries are already planned. I hope I'll pack enough snacks.

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