WEEKEND RECAP: I'M A CENTURIST
cen•tur•ist |ˈsen ch (ə)rist|
noun ( pl. -rists)
1 one who has completed a 100 mile journey by way of bicycle
not to be confused with "centrist" or "censure"
it's official. i've now completed a century ride. and btw, i totally made that word up.
i drove out to Palm Springs friday with Sinta, my dear friend from way back in the early marathon days who is also a triathlete now and training for IMAZ#1. Iron Maidens, Cindy and Juliet, were driving up later and staying at Cindy's parents' house. Sinta and i were all set to stay the night with our old running coach, Vic Gainer, who was also excited to be signed up for the 10 mile ride (his longest ride EVAH). we had a blast catching up on old marathon training days and convincing Sinta that she's ready to go for Boston. Vic is retired and hasn't run in over 6 years since his hip replacement, so he really lights up when he gets the chance to talk about running and hear what we're up to now. he was my mentor, giving me my first opportunity to coach, and for this i will be eternally grateful. everything i know about how to coach and how to get people to the marathon finish line, i learned from Vic Gainer. we ogled over his medal collection and scoured all his old books and articles. then he found a box that stores all his old Runner's World training calendars!! he showed us his best year, 1986, the year he ran a 3:09 at Berlin, and talked about his typical weekly mileage as well as essential days off. after our slumber party of running talk, i could see that Sinta had the spark in her eye for marathon again, and after IMAZ, i think she'll be more than ready!!!
earlier in the week, i'd gotten a call from my Brasil roomie and fellow tri club member, Oliver. he said he wasn't able to drive out until the morning of the ride, and would i be able to pick up his bracelet at packet pick up. "sure, no problem" i said. then he asked "so do you want to ride together?" um, yeah, don't think you're gonna wanna drag along with me, Oli, but thanks anyway. but he explained that he really wasn't gonna go all out. in fact he was planning to ride his SINGLE SPEED for a "bit of a challenge." WTF??? so this is what shows up to pick up his bracelet on ride morning...
Oli's single speed caper...
these, ladies and gents, are the legs of a Kona competitor. in fact these legs placed 6th in their age group at IMAZ '07 with a time of 10:06 which qualified these legs to go to Kona and finish in 10:15 after suffering TWO FLATS ON SEW UPS. these legs rode this single speed saturday over 100 miles because he just "wanted a challenge." how rad does this bike look with the paint job all stripped?? so these legs started out with little ol' me 'til about mile 5 when we got out of the cluster fuck of kooks tripping over their own faces and eating shit on road cones, and that's when i told Oli not to wait for me anymore. he went on and eventually caught up with MACCA!!! yep, Macca, triathlon's favorite son, was out there as well. sorry, Bold, looks like he's flown the coop from Boulder for some Sunny SoCal training months. he's also been spotted at my massage therapist's office, and don't think i haven't plotted how to schedule an appointment and run into him. i'm not a star fucker or anything... i'm just sayin'. so Oliver rode along with Macca and crew, and as usual, Macca was a totally humble dude, asking Oliver how his day at Kona went and hoped he'd see him there again this year. but i digress....back to the legs.....these legs will be sharing the same room with me, sleeping in a bed right next to mine, at IM Brasil, and while these legs have a girlfriend around which i'm sure these legs are wrapped tightly, i think i'm gonna be more nervous about sharing a room with Oli than the actual Ironman itself!!! hold it together Monica!!!
after the legs and i separated coming outta town at mile 5 or so, i was pretty much on my own as Sinta was way the hell ahead of me riding in a pace line with her fellow tri club riders. Iron Maiden Juliet was somewhere behind me, and Cindy was only doing the 55 miler. the next 10 miles was a gradual uphill grade to the first SAG stop at mile 16. this proved to be not as flat as i had expected but not impossible either. i just put it in the small gear and spun, trying to remind myself that this wasn't a race, and being it was my first century, i should just take it easy and get through the distance. the desert terrain was absolutely beautiful, with Mt. Baldy to the west and Joshua Tree park to the north. yep, another day to be reminded of how rad it is here in SoCal!! coming outta the first SAG stop came the first downhill, and i couldn't help myself. i just flew. it was so friggin' fun!!! for the next 35 miles or so we had rollers and some good descents. i passed up the next SAG stop as i just didn't feel like stopping. i didn't need to pee, and i pretty much had all my nutrition on me as i was trying to take this opportunity to once again practice nutrition for the big day. on one descent i passed a guy parked on the side of the road who looked to be waiting for someone else. he screamed out "whooooooa!!!!" and when he caught up to me later he says "man, you're flying!!!" ok, i have to admit, that felt kinda cool.
coming into the mile 50 SAG stop we had the longest descent of the ride, maybe 5 miles of downhill. everyone was just coasting it except for a few 3-4 person pace lines. it was pretty funny to watch the reaction on the faces of these super tricked out guys as i flew by them. i guess i just wanna make up for how friggin' slow i am on the uphill, and i'm not nearly as afraid to fly on the downhill as i used to be. at one point i clocked 36.4 mph which is not as fast as the 41mph i clocked at the People Powered Metric Century back in October. still though, i was breaking the speed limit!!! if only Ironman was all downhill....
coming into the mile 70 SAG stop it was about 80 degrees out now, and my feet were ON FIRE!!! i had to peel my toe warmers and socks off just to get some relief. i figured Oli was done by now and i oughta check in with him, so i gave him a call. yep, sure enough, the guy killed it on his single speed in something like 5 hours or a little less. INSANE. i told him not to wait for me, but he said he'd go out for a "little run" and come back by 2:00 when i should be done. aaaah, the life of a Kona champ. so now the pressure was on to finish this mother and get to have a beer with the legs at the end!!! i took off out of the SAG stop looking towards another good sized climb, and by now it was 80 degrees. no worries, just spin it. you'll do fine. another fun descent through a neighborhood and back out on to some more stop 'n' go signals through various Palm Springs neighborhoods. at one stop a guy said to me "hey your back tire is looking REALLY low." SHIT. ok, let me get somewhere where i can stop and cess the situation. coming around the next corner i nearly fishtailed out from the low tire nearly coming off the rim, taking about 3 other cyclists with me, but i caught myself before i went down and nobody else went down either. i added a whole cannister of CO2 and it looked like it would hold, but as soon as my 21.1% fat ass got back on the saddle, it looked low still. do i go back to the last SAG stop or keep on to the next one, and how far is the next one?? FUUUUUCK!!!!
so i powered through to the next and last SAG stop at mile 90. nothing like 15 miles with extra resistance from a low tire. i called Oliver, who was now done with his 50 mile ultra marathon. he couldn't wait anymore because he had to get back to town to pick up his other bike from the shope for the DUATHLON he was racing the next morning. again, WTF??? the guy's an animal with great legs, and i get to stare at them for a whole week in sexy Brasil. how's that for motivation??
at this point, i just did not want to deal with the back tire at all. there were even bike mechanics who could do it for me, but there was a line, and i was only 12 miles from being done, so i grabbed a pump from their tent and said if i could get it to hold 120psi, i would just power through. i could hear a slight hiss, but i did get it to hold 120, so i crossed my fingers that it would hold out for the last leg. lazy or impatient or just plain stupid?? you make the call. at this point, i'd been having a great ride, i wasn't really in any significant pain save for my burning feet that felt like someone had shoved my toenails back with a mallet, and i was ready to EAT REAL FOOD. so i powered along with the rest of a clump of riders through the stop 'n' go of the next 12 miles. one woman in particular just started to get on my last goddamn nerve with her"on your left!!" and "slowing!!" and "sand!" calls out to the group and her stupid little handlebar bell (those things oughta be outlawed). she was also riding a triple crank and passing me on every climb. i guess i was starting to get a little negative from the miles, but i just wanted to clock her and say "YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!!" instead i decided to throw down the hammer and leave her in the dust. if i could just beat her through one light, i'd be done with her, but she kept catching up. finally on one little downhill stretch i found her weakness and my strength as i flew by her and another 3 man pace line. SEE YA, WOULDN'T WANNA BE YA!!!! the 3 guys caught up to me at the next light where one exclaimed "you're looking really good and riding really strong for this late in the mileage!!" ok, i have to admit, that felt kinda good again. i don't remember much of the last 5 miles, but boy did those finish line balloons look mad cool, and there was Iron Maiden Cindy waiting and cheering me on!!! Juliet came in about 10 minutes later. total ride time was 6:24. i know, i know. not very fast for all the shit talkin' i do, but hey, i got weeks and weeks to get faster....
losses = 1 launched water bottle, 1 gel flask, 1 CO2, 1 tube
gains = knowing i'll probably make the bike cutoff at Ironman
things are cookin' now!!! next weekend ends the long ride saturday followed by the long run sunday routine. i'll start doing long swims saturday followed by a long brick sunday or long swims saturday morning followed by long runs saturday afternoon and long rides sunday. either way, it's all LONG LONG LONG!!!