Monday, August 30, 2010

Wilson 101: Post-Game Report

I did it, folks. Here's the rundown.

Wheels down at 8:15a. Light breeze, mid-upper 70s, and overcast skies. A few miles in, it started to drizzle lightly. No big deal, it was refreshing and cool, though I immediately regretted not putting on my booties (they were left, forlornly, at the start in the car). About 7 of us were in a pace line, zipping along.

At mile 50, we had stopped at two of the three SAG stops and were averaging around 16mph.

At mile 61 we stopped at a SAG stop for water and to stretch because the wind had picked up and one of us was struggling. Discover the struggle was likely due to a soft tire. We refill the tire, vow to keep an eye on it, and take off into newly pouring (and slightly chilly because of the stop) rain.

Mile 65ish, we stop to change the now-flat tire; rain lets up and doesn't get worse than a drizzle for the remainder of the ride.

Mile 73 we stop to put proper air in the tire and keep on.

Mile ~76 I realize I hadn't turned on the computer since the previous stop, costing me 3.5 miles of stats.

Mile 85 I drop my chain. Fix it, pedal three strokes, drop the chain again. Both times it gets jammed up in the crank. Fix it, pedal, rear derailleur starts ghost shifting up and down the cassette. Unfixable on the road, so I ride like that for the remainder of the ride, with the Gaps coaches keeping an eye on the bike and me company. Couldn't shift in front, to avoid dropping chain again.

Mile 97 hit the one hill on the course: short and steep. Knees aching from poor gearing for previous twelve miles, extra tension on chain causes bike to take sympathy on me and my knees and it shifts to granny in front just long enough for me to make it up the hill without dropping chain or having to walk.

Mile 101, I finished happily and with enough energy to keep riding, except for the mechanical issues.

All told, I'd say it was a success. Except for my quads tightening after the series of stops in the rain for the tire (they eventually worked out), and the achey knees, I felt great for the whole ride. Pace lining the whole ride was fun and awesome, and the TEAM was great. I had a great time and was only disappointed that I couldn't ride back to join Diane and Curtis for their finish, since they were my most frequent riding buddies this season : (

Stats (the 3.5 miles are accounted for within):
Maximum speed: 37.1 mph
Average speed: 15.7 mph
Distance: 102.30 mi
Time: 6.31.36

And, just as a point of interest, I burned 4,246 calories on the ride. That's offset by the fact that I feel like all I did yesterday was eat.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Big Day: Preflections

As the actual event has yet to occur, I can't really truly reflect on it. I can, however, reflect on the training and season thus far. Because I am doing this with an eye on the ride on Sunday (a for-real milestone in my life), I consider this a preflection: a looking forward to things to come.

Looking back, since I began training in May:

- I have logged 998.45 miles
- I have burned over 30,000 calories
- I have lost 5 lbs
- I have ridden a longest-ever ride four times
- I have raised $2,250, almost exclusively from private donors

Come Sunday, I will ride 100 miles in support of those whose lives have been impacted by blood cancers. I will do so with survivors and those who (like me) have never been ill; with experienced cyclists and those who had never ridden before and are on borrowed bikes. I will ride with people old enough to be my parents or grandparents, and with people even younger than I am. I will be riding with some teammates for whom this is the third (or sixth, or tenth) event with TNT, and with those who, like me, are new to the TEAM. Most importantly, I will be riding with my new friends, who have come together for this cause.

Our reasons for riding are varied and personal, and range from the originally selfish (me) to the selfless (everyone else). The important thing, though, is that we ride.

My sincerest and most heartfelt thanks go to everyone for their support, both financial and moral, while I trained for this event. I have been fortunate not to have had any setbacks in my training and more fortunate still to never suffer from a major illness such as leukemia or lymphoma,so that I could ride for those who have.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Training Rides - Saturday and Sunday, 21-22 August

On Saturday we didn't have our usual long GTR, as it was the TNT All Sports Group Training Session (and picnic!) We met at the Galloway School in Sandy Springs. I say we met, but really I showed up late because I couldn't figure out where to park and 3 miles up I85 I had to turn back to the apartment because I'd forgotten every possible form of ID I could carry. I called C and he hung back and waited for me. Good thing, too, because without riding with him (and E, who we eventually ended up with), we would've ridden at least the full 25 miles and a killer hill, instead of foregoing that hill (and five miles in the bargain) and going only 19 miles. There were plenty of hills without the one, and certainly more than enough on the ride on Sunday to make up for it, so I wouldn't say I missed it in any way. (Apparently, it varied between 9 and 10% grade which, in a word, blows.)

Stats (Saturday):
Maximum speed: 32.4 mph
Average speed: 13.1 mph
Distance: 19.35 mi
Time: 1.28.25

It was slower than I would have liked, but still a pleasant ride. Sunday's ride was also slow. I rode with R ("partner") and it was very enjoyable until about mile 45, at which point we hit the hills in Vinings/Sandy Springs (where we rode out of) and the heat and sun finally made themselves known. It was basically the same route that we'd taken during my last GTR before vacation, except with more hills (we started farther north) and 10 fewer miles of flat (no Silk Sheets). So, in a ride that was 10 miles shorter, we had more hills and fewer flats, so it was suck. It started nice and overcast and cool, but even when the sun first came out it wasn't too hot. As I said, it was only the last 15 miles or so that we began hating it. I don't feel bad for going so slowly because of all the hills. R and I decided that they picked such a crappy route so that next week (the Big Event) would be a breeze by comparison. I'd do 100 flat/rolling miles over 62 hilly miles any day. I am also, again, grateful for not deciding to do the Six Gap century, because that would suck a nut.

Stats (Sunday):
Maximum speed: 39.5 mph (wheeeee! that was on the way out)
Average speed: 13.1 mph
Distance: 61.70 mi
Time: 4.42.05

I'm so excited for the ride this weekend! Go Team!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Training Ride - Wednesday, 18 August

Last night, D and I rode the Silver Comet. We left at 6, and by the end it was obvious that the sun is setting earlier. That's very exciting, as it means the end of 95+ degree days is nigh. That didn't mean that yesterday was any cooler, but, under the canopy of the trail and in the twilight, it was mostly bearable.

Yesterday was also the first day I tried out my bike after I got it fit two weeks ago. Despite some cramping in my feet (I adjusted the cleats at Floyd and there was no more problem), I liked it. It will take a little getting used to, the shorter/lower stem, but there wasn't any pain and I felt good.

Maximum speed: 22.0 mph
Average speed: 13.8 mph
Distance: 27.37 mi
Time: 1.58.17

I think I'll be in good shape for the centuries I have planned for fall. How exciting! I hope to keep up my training, to a degree, so that I will hit the ground running come spring.

"Training" Ride - Wednesday, 11 August

While in the Adirondacks, I hardly rode at all. This is partly due to the fact that I was running, hiking, swimming, water skiing, and over-eating and didn't have much time left. This is also due to the fact that I didn't have my bike, just my (taller) Mom's hybrid to tootle around on.

Despite that, Dad and I went for a nice ride along South Shore Road to Old Forge, had lunch, and then came back. The best parts? Cool weather, low humidity, lunch, and ice cream. The worst parts? Swamp ass to the extreme and discomfort from riding in a skirt because Mom tilts her seat back.

Still, it was a pleasant ride. But, the stats got cleared from the computer, so this is all rough.

Maximum speed: ~22 mph
Average speed: 14.5 mph
Distance: 28 mi
Time: whatever that works out to be