Sunday, September 27, 2009

Heber Valley Century - My first 100 miles!

I was prepared to do a century in the spring, but travel plans got in the way and I didn't end up doing. Then the whole broken foot fiasco went down in June. Well, I had the opportunity to ride the Heber Valley Century today with some great guys, so took it!
What a great time of year for this ride, the colors were spectacular! I pulled up about 7:30am and it was soooo cold! Like shivering cold. I was fairly well prepared clothing wise though, and once the sun came up we were fine.

We rolled away from Southfield Park about 8:30am. Headed south toward Deer Creek and about 5 miles in I asked Alecio, one of our riders, if this road felt bumpy to him. I realized a second later I better stop and check the bike and sure enough, flat tire. 5 miles into the ride! Grrr. Got to buisness changing the tube out, put the new one in and about blew it up when Te Koi reminded me it might be a good idea to check the inside of the tire, you know since something apparently went through it to pop the last tube? Sure enough, found a 2 inch long industrial staple embeded in my tire. Thanks for the save there Te Koi. I ride a smaller wheel than most people so we would've been in a world of hurt if I flatted out again as the sag wagons didn't even have 650 tubes. Lucky for me I rode with some great guys who took over and 3 CO2 cartridges (wierd valve issues, should've only taken 1) and 13 minutes later we were on our way.
Headed to our first aid station at Soldier Hollow, the 2002 Winter Olympic Biathlon venue. We had the chance to shoot rifles at the target, but figured we'd taken enough time changing a tire (did I mention it was only 5 miles into our ride?! Grrr). From there we headed through Heber to Homestead Resort for stop #2. Shed some warm layers and went on our way. Finally got out of the Heber Valley and rode up a big long hill to a Jordanelle Reservoir outlook (sailboats in the water).

Got the chance to do some downhill before heading through lots of rollers toward Oakley. On our way Te Koi said something about how last year part of the road wasn't paved and how it was nice to have it paved now. 2 minutes later we ran into that unpaved section. Had to have been almos 2 miles of dirt road and let me tell you, tiny little road bike tires are not meant for loose dirt and rock. You got used to it, but it was still frustrating to be crawling along and wondering when it'd end. Anyway, finally got to our lunch stop and boy was I ready to eat. It was awesome. Subway sandwiches (which was the best sandwich I think I've ever had), fresh fruit (including pinapple - yes!), snack bars, trail mix, punch, cold was great! Finished up there and headed out to Rockport Reservoir where the winds came into play. Nothing horrible, but headwind 50 miles into a 100 mile ride and over rolling roads isn't so much fun. The boys got caught up in a peloton (group of riders that take turns 'pulling' the group through the wind) and took off. Can't blame them, but I was pretty frustrated. Frustrated that I couldn't keep up, that I was all alone in the wind, and I was just plain bonked. I think my nutrition wasn't spot on because it was hard to gauge what to take in Hammer wise since we were eating at the stations too. I may have been a little behind on my Endurolytes as well. We'll just say I wasn't very happy rolling into the next aid station about 60 miles. My mind was just mentally fried and my legs didn't feel great. It was kind of to a point where I knew we were over halfway done, but it still felt forever to the finish. Pushed on, got left behind a little, although I think the guys could sense my frustration and tried to encourage me. We got to about mile 80 and I was just riding mad at this point. Wasn't so friendly and talkative, just pushing on. That's what I needed to do at that point and I did pick up my pace a little. I also had to pull my foot out of the shoe and ride that was for the next 5-10 miles. My left big toe was sooo sore. I managed to be able to put the shoe back on for the rest of the ride though. Last aid station with about 15 miles to go. It was good riding, I felt good, and got some great pulls from Alecio - thank you! Hope was finally in sight when we got back to the climb back up from Rockcliff to the Jordanelle outlook.
Got to go down a big hill before that and hit 45mph - yay! The last climb up was long and rough at times, but I had lots of encouragement and was motivated to just get it over with. We finally got to the top and I saw a 8% down grade sign and you know what? I was thrilled! Seriously so excited to go down this big hill. I held 45mph most of the 2-3 miles down and loved every second. I think I surprised Te Koi a little when I was right behind him at the bottom. My big smile may have socked him too after my grumpiness.
Anyway, we finished the last miles into town and were D. O. N. E. !!!
106 miles in 6 hours and 20 minutes of ride time.

I got just a wee bit of sun eh? Lovin the watch tan. Oh and the socks were in place of an event shirt - it's a cyclist thing :)

There were definately times I wasn't having a good time and was discouraged, but it was a great ride to do. Awesome scenery and even better company. Seriously, I would've been crying about mile 60 from discouragement and looking for a ride back to town had I not had these guys with me. I was frustrated not being able to keep up all the time, but I have to remember they're guys, they've done this before, and they have bigger wheels than I do ;) No really though, working together on this and supporting eachother really made the ride great. Now it's time to train hard for a couple more weeks, race an Oly in Vegas on the 17th, then take 2-3 weeks off till IRONMAN TRAINING!!


Megan said...

I think you need to find some chicks to ride with! Then you'll be the one leaving them behind!

Awesome job with the century. That is definitely on my list of things I'd love to do!

Jill said...

Wow, Leslie...that's an awesome achievement; I will draw inspiration from you next weekend in Portland when I'm dog tired at mile can I not! You did amazing and I agree with Megan, you'd leave all the females in the dust.


blonderunner said...

Wow - that sounds like fun. I will have to try that one.