Saturday was the bike ride - I emphasize ride because it's a ride not a race. Some of our faster friends did not get that memo, and boy did they miss out! We started out with a group of six but Cheryl and Christine were doing the "mini-metric" so we only got to hang with them for the first 20 miles.
The rest of the day it was just the fearsome 4 - me, Jason, Kelly and Becki ... or "Jason and the Flaming Hoo Has" as he aptly named us. I love my new saddle, but 100 miles will anger any hoo ha. But enough about that - my mom has already informed me that she didn't think it was "appropriate" to talk about my butt hurting on facebook, so I can only imagine what she's thinking here.
|The official facebook photo stop at Mile 68|
|Jason and Me at Rest Stop #2 Blossom Trail Cafe .. I told him I had a groupon ... we almost stayed and had breakfast...|
So, back to my point ... ride not race .. So there were "rest stops" every 15 miles or so and they were FABULOUS. Like full on Vegas buffets. And while faster cyclists might just race on through, we decided that (1) we wanted to get our money's worth and (2) it would be rude not to make the volunteers feel needed. So the list of what I ate to fuel my first century ride is as follows: chex mix, cheetos, part of a subway sandwich, lots of red vines, strawberries, oranges, and a handful of m&m's. Since I left my watch going the whole time and Jason stopped his at rest stops, I can accurately report that we spent over an hour combined at the 5-6 rest stops along the way.
Cycling wise, I felt great. Huge confidence builder for Ironman. Like 100 miles is going to hurt, but it is not impossible. I kept a steady 15-17mph pace while we were riding. Riding on the freeway was pretty fun - especially when we saw our friend Michelle on an overpass!
|IronKelly and Me flying down the 168 ... or at least keeping it above the required 8mph minimum.|
There was only 1 really serious climb (about 1500 feet over 3 miles) and I powered up it like a champion. I was passing people right and left, complimenting them on their handlebar tape (camoflauge!), jerseys (I want a chipotle one!) and cheering people on who looked like they were dying. Truth be told, they probably wanted to punch me. I waited for my friends and the next rest stop and they quickly dubbed me 'Queen of the Mountain.'
My glory was fleeting, however, as my possee quickly ditched me on the terrifying descent. (Super extra terrifying after I saw a heart spray painted in the road where a girl DIED on this course last year. Yikes. Yikes. Yikes!) But I just stayed to the right, on the breaks and handled my bike as well as I could.
We spent the last half of the ride mostly in pace lines with our group and others. The awesome Ms. Becky Cutler came out and found us at mile 75 and pulled us in for a lot of that last portion. The last 10 miles coming into town were a lot of fun. We almost hitched a ride with Crazy Eddie's towing and he cheered us on with some loud honks. Random homeless people cheered for us as did people waiting for the bus who were probably cursing us for riding bikes when we don't have to. All in all, it was just a great day - we finished in just under 8 hours. And I just can't think of a more perfect way to spend a Saturday with friends. And yes, I know that makes me a bit insane.
So the plan was to hop off the bike, change into run shoes and run for 30 minutes. But they had ice cream and tri-tip and the finish line and all of our fast friends were already there .... so Kelly and just pulled off our cycling shoes and ran around the stadium in socks for 10 minutes. It was enough to reassure me that my legs will still work after 100 miles and I will still be able to run a marathon.
Sunday was also wonderful in a completely different way. When I woke up, my legs were screaming. Even those first few steps of the race hurt like a mo fo. But I just had this feeling of "I don't care. I want to do it anyways." I'm tired of running slow and making excuses about it. I wanted to remember what it felt like to run fast, to run past the pain, to put myself in 'the hurt locker.' And so I did. I started out at a 7:15 pace and my overall pace was 7:24 so even though I dropped off a little, it wasn't nearly as bad as I felt. I had constant company for almost the entire race - thanks to Teresa, Becky, Lea, Bethany and Katie for running with me for bits and pieces of the race. I crossed the finish line in 1:38:47 - only 3 minutes off my PR and good enough for 1st in my age division and 10th or 11th overall female!!! (someone was blocking my view when I was trying to count at the results booth and officials aren't posted online yet)
|Screenshot from me on the live news feed!|
|Katie (who ran with me from 11-13), me and Kelly|
That run gave me a lot of confidence - not just that I'm going to be an Ironman, but that I haven't wrecked my running and I will probably come back from this stronger than I was before. CA Classic Challenge - Check. Two more weeks of insane-o training and then it's time to taper!
|The two medals separately|
|The two medals when you clip them together!|