Well I did it! I rode the ULCER!
If you read my previous post about turning the BIG 4-0 and how I had four things that I wanted to do before I turned Forty in four months, one of those was "do a cool physical feat - like a triathalon, or run a marathon or ride a century bike ride". I chose the century ride, and what a ride it was!
We started at 7:30 am from Thanksgiving Point in Lehi and headed south to travel around the lake in a clockwise direction. When we started out Mark kept trying to get in with some faster groups so that it would be easier for us, but they were too fast for me and I knew I couldn't keep the pace if I was going to last for 111 miles. I think Mark was getting a little frustrated and I don't blame him. He is a much better rider than me (faster) and it is hard to always hang back for the slow chubby girl.
We got into a pretty good rhythm and at around mile 20 or so this guy comes up beside Mark and says "Hey, I've been drafting off of you guys for a while, how about I take a pull?" So of course we let him! After that he pretty much stuck with us for the entire ride. He didn't talk much. He was about 50 or so, Hispanic, and said his name was Julio. We joked that he had adopted us for the ride and how lucky we were and he just smiled.
He did tell us that last summer he did 12 century rides, (that's one a week people!) but that this year he had only done about 4. He was an excellent rider and he and Mark took turns at the front with me in the back or middle doing my best not to get left in the dust. Actually, they were both really good to slow the pace when they could see that I was struggling and Julio would hang back and ride beside me and say "Hey how you doing girlie? Those legs going to make it the full 100 miles today?" (this spoken with a Hispanic accent)
After lunch I really started to struggle - it was hot, I can't really eat when I work out (even though I know my body needs the fuel), it was hot, and my breathing was getting a little crazy. (Did I mention it was HOT?!)
We stopped at a rest stop so I could get some more water and take a hit on my asthma inhaler (it tastes like chemo and I hate to use it). Mark went over to Julio and said "Hey Jana is really having a hard time and we are probably going to have to slow down here so you might want to go ahead of us." and Julio said "No, no, you see I am doing and experiment today." I piped in "What, how S L O W you can do a century?!" and he said "No, usually I always ride by myself . I never draft on anyone and I never like anyone to draft on me - never as part of a team. Today I decided that I would ride as part of a team, so I picked you guys." He then said "There is no Yellow Jersey today, no Polka Dot Jersey to be won today. Let's just finish the ride".
This whole time I am thinking - oh man did you pick the Wrong Team!!
So we start going again and are now on the west side of Utah Lake. The terrain is rolling hills and my speed just starts getting more and more crappy. Good on the down hills - crappy on the up hill. We hit another rest stop and keep on going. I am forcing Gatorade down because I know that I am getting dehydrated and am going through a water bottle every 10 miles.
During the day I had half joked to Mark that someone (maybe McKenna?) must be looking out for us and sent us a little gift from heaven when Julio showed up, because it makes it soo much easier when you have three people instead of just two. Plus it gave Mark a break from always having to take the lead the entire time. (I'm too slow for him to draft off of me)
Pretty soon Julio got a little bit ahead of us and then a little bit more. By the time we made it to the next rest stop he was nowhere to be seen. He had rode off just like he rode up to us - seemingly out of nowhere.
As we get closer to Saratoga Springs, Mark called Jade & Willy and told them to bring the kids out to where the course ran through our neighborhood so she could take some pictures to document this momentous occasion. Jack drove down in his electric Jeep with Madeline riding shotgun. He also was kind enough to fill up his squirt gun and squirt me when I stopped for a break under the tree on the corner. I loved it - I was HOT!Here we are coming up through our neighborhood.
Let me tell you it took every ounce of willpower that I had to get back on my bike and keep on riding the remaining 13 miles, instead of turning up the street and riding the 1/2 mile to my house. But in the end I did and I am glad that I did it - at least I can say I finished.
After the race I didn't feel so good. After much brow beating from one of my "Nurse Sisters" I went to the doctor and found out that my electrolytes were out of wack. Apparently you can DIE from this - - who knew?!? Anyway, I got some meds and am feeling much better now.
Actually I am considering doing it again next year. I think it is like having a baby. While you are doing it you are swearing to all things holy that you will NEVER, NEVER, EVER do this again. But once it is over, then you say, well. . . that wasn't so bad, I bet I could get a better time next year!
Oh, and the best part? I had several complements on my cute bike and jersey. One girl even said "Wow, what a cute bike and look, it matches her jersey - I wish I matched like that". This was heard as I was PASSING her. - - So you see I wasn't dead last in the ride and hey I looked cute doing it - which is what really counts anyway right?!?