Not a race, but an event, nonetheless...
My friend, Marc came to pick me up at 4:30 am. We went to Robin’s house to meet up and caravan with Robin and Brandon. I had my pb&j sandwich and coffee on the way.
When we got there, we unloaded our bikes and went to pick up our packets. We had a whole hour to hang out and go to the potty (several times.) I pinned the number on my jersey, got on my bike shoes, gloves, helmet and sunglasses and at 7am,we were off. I told Robin and Brandon, they didn’t have to hang back with me. We arranged to meet at the 30mi rest stop. Marc said he was going to practice IM pacing, so he didn’t want to hammer it at all.
I hung close to them for about 20 miles, then I lost them. I was riding along at about 20mp/h, I passed a paceline of about 20 people. As I was beginning to get tired and slowing down, this pace line passes by me and a few guys say, “Nice pull, biker chick.” (I was wearing my pink Biker Chick jersey) Apparently, after I passed by them, they held onto my pull for a long time, till I slowed down. I slowed enough to let them pass, but one guy wouldn’t hear of it, and poked me in the side and said, “get in there, you pulled, now rest for a while in there.” Alrighty, then. We met up at the 30 mi rest stop to fill up water bottles, go potty and eat a snack (banana, chex mix). Some of the guys from the paceline I pulled came up and complimented me on my pace . We waited for Marc then headed out, saying we would meet again at the 60mi rest stop.
I hung onto Brandon, and Robin and the bike shop guy Fred…a couple people sliding in and out of the paceline. I took my turns pulling. At one point, around mi 45, I was done pulling, let go of my handlebars, to wave the next rider to pull, and lost my balance. DUH! I wobbled back and forth, cursed loudly a little and finally got my balance back, not so much my pride. (Note to self: work on your bike handling skills.) I liked pulling because I could get into aero position and really go without worrying about staying on the guy in front of my wheel….too close, too far, is he slowing down, will I bump him…In the front, I’m in control. But that’s tiring too. Hmm, is there a life lesson in there?
We stopped to refill again at mi 60, 75, 88 and finally finished. I was cranky by mi 75 and my right big toe hurt even tho I had my cleats adjusted and got bigger shoes (it’s a relief to have toe-wiggle room). I just sucked it up, and hung in with them till the last 5 miles when the line just sort of broke apart. Robin went off 1st, I was behind him, but too far to draft, then Brandon and the others. It took about 5 and ½ hrs all in all, not bad. My 2nd official century ride.
We got to the finish, dropped off our bikes, picked up our finisher’s pins, and ate a spaghetti and salad lunch.
Next year, when I do it, I will be practicing my IM pacing and won’t have the luxury of the pacelines, but this was more social than most triathlons (at least till the run, when you can talk to people) and quite enjoyable….considering the 100+ degree heat at the finish :).