Roade my first metric century Saturday and came in sixth today.... sixth last. Possibly the happiest result I've ever had. Quite a turn around from March (both in attitude and performance).
Starting the ride was me and 50 close strangers. We got off to a really fast start. Really fast. The first 10K were done in 16.5 minutes. I started near the front and within 6k I was dropped by the front group, and the second group, Settled in with a third group of 3 other danglers and got into a paceline. I was able to hold that group to the 10k mark. Then dropped again.
I was going to have to just ride my own pace. I had a goal of finishing 100k in under 4 hours and pushing myself into the red this early was not the way to accomplish this. I passed the first rest stop (the one for the 20 mile out and back ride) and kept going. Passed through the first big town and saw my first straggler having a drink @ a gas station. I'm no longer last.
Came to a fork in the road that is not marked and got a little lost. I was not sure which way to go, but a little kid pointed out that another group is coming up, so I settled in with them for a while. Completed a short climb fairly well but the lead guy did not let up and I eventually blew up and fell out of this group as well, just as we hit the second rest stop. I decide to stop and fill up on water and have a snack and watch a few riders riding the 1/2 century ride come through, and even a few peel off and get onto the 100 route. Hmm, perhaps I was never last.
A few others stopped for drinks but I got back on the road. Eating a gel every 10k and staying hydrated, ticking off the 10k laps. Up ahead I see a flashing light. A rider. A rabbit. A goal. I picked up my pace just slightly and try to determine if I'm closing he gap whenever I catch a glimpse of him as on the winding, tree lined, beautifully smooth farm roads. Yep, I appeared to be gaining. It took me about 20k but I closed the gap and got onto his wheel. After a brief rest I did a pull and we traded off a time or two.
I pulled to the front as we crossed the river and headed up the the "big climb" which was used as a KOM point on the ride. I did not hit it hard, just steady but I still pulled away. As I crested the hill I looked back to see if I should wait and continue to work together, but he was too far back so I just got on with it.
Pulled into the the final rest stop to refill the bottles and have a snack just as two others were leaving. I considered not stopping and following their wheel but I needed the water so decided against it. While refilling, the guy I had worked with came in and one other. I appeared to be third last now.
Back on the road. The stop was probably less than 3-4 minutes but my legs had already started seizing up! Crazy. The k continued to tick away. I was into the final 30k. Then 20k, I turn onto the road I've ridden with the Tuesday/Thursday night rides and pass another rider who had stopped for a nature break. I'm fourth last.
10k to go. I cross the river one last time and head up turbo hill. 10k of uphill riding. Maybe it was the snacks I had earlier, maybe it was the rush of knowing was going to complete my first 100k of the year, but for whatever reason my legs felt really strong and I switched into "diesel mode" and started powering over the road.
Up ahead another rider. I claw my way up to him and pass him without slowing or sitting on. More power riding, another rider ahead. I pull up to him and pass.
Just 2000 meters left. Powering home, I finish really strong, and check my time.
I crushed the day. 40 minutes faster! I averaged 28.8kph over 100k! This was faster than my 50 mile ride from Wednesday! What an awesome day.
Distance: 102.39 km
Speed: 28.76 kmh
Cadence: 86 rpm
AVG HR: 155/185 bpm
Weight: 205 lbs