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Cycling, Training

Century Rides 2011 — Round #1

I’m going to start with the obvious. It is HOT here in D.C.

But that didn’t stop me from riding a very hilly 101.5 miles on Memorial Day, did it? Nope.

Shireen had suggested getting together for a long ride awhile back, so she planned a “casual” 80-mile loop for Anna, Hillary and I. Adam and James tagged along, and we met up with Francesca and Tyler along the way as well. Sounds fun, at least in theory. Here’s the rundown:

We met up at Glen Echo Park off McArthur at 9:30. I rode from home, which roundtrip would put me right at 100 miles. I was dripping in sweat from the moment I walked out my door, and I knew with temps starting above 80 degrees I was in for a long day. I also vaguely knew where we were going and that it likely was going to be hilly, but I had no concept of just how hard the course was. Finally, I rode 63 miles plus a 5 mile brick run on Sunday, so my legs were already angry warmed up.

In any case, we finally rolled out from Glen Echo a bit before 10am and headed up the huge McArthur hill to Great Falls. I actually really love that hill but quickly remembered I’ve never done any hills on my tri bike. Then someone said something about Sugarloaf Mountain — if I’d read the cue sheet, I would have realized this is where we were headed — and I had a brief internal panic about all the climbs I knew we were about to encounter. Thankfully, climbing is my thing. But that doesn’t make hills any easier.

I had an aero bottle and another water bottle on the bike already, but within about five minutes of clipping in I knew that would only last me for about 10 miles. We stopped at every gas station we encountered and purchased gallon jugs to pass around, along with Gatorade, ice cream and whatever else sounded good. I ate a Clif Bar, an Uncrustable and a package of Shot Bloks over the course of the ride and drank too many bottles of water to count, but I could (and should) have taken in a lot more calories. I faded pretty quickly in the last ten miles of the ride, but the heat definitely doesn’t make you want to eat. More work necessary before IM.

I wish I’d taken pictures along the way — we rode through some beautiful farmland, around Sugarloaf Mountain, through some quaint towns — so the scenery definitely made the ride a more pleasant experience. Rural Maryland really is beautiful. And even though there were some killer hills (River Rd. is a bitch), we also hit a few fun descents, and this really built up my confidence for future climbing practice and the scary IMWI bike course.


In the end, with the route from home and pulling into parking lots and doubling back on McArther for an extra 3 miles, Adam and I rode 101.5 in 6:05. Not bad, considering the heat and the terrain. Actual time outdoors was much longer (like 8:45-5) because of all the stops, and I think sitting still in the heat 8 -10 times for regroups and refuels actually made the day harder. Also, the 104 degree heat index. Just saying.

The Wisconsin course — thanks to recon from a few people over the weekend — has a similar amount of elevation change and supposedly matches up nicely with some of the hills in the Poolesville area, where we were. So I think a few more rides — 80-110 miles each — out there and I’ll be well prepared for race day.

After the ride, we stopped at Jetties for massive sandwiches and headed back to cool off in the A/C. Thank god for that. I needed to ice bath and stretch and dig myself out of a 2,250 calorie deficit (uh, YEAH) and then lay around for the rest of the evening. I actually felt pretty good and my legs never really hurt, but I think the heat and the total fueling fail just took it out of me overall. Dinner, Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked and bed took care of all problems though.

Next century ride: June 11. Anyone want to come along???

PS: I also failed at the #50KinMay goal — thanks to a race, being out of town, getting sick and just generally disliking 5000m-plus workouts. But no worries — we’ve got 500 miles on the bike in June. This seems more manageable because, after all, I’ll be knocking out 200 of those miles on June 25…



8 thoughts on “Century Rides 2011 — Round #1

  1. i rode 76+ on monday and you’re right – stopping was SO much worse than moving. we had to walk our bikes for a quarter-mile or so in vienna due to a festival, and that was the worst part of the ride. the best? slurpees at the turn-around.

    which ride is june 11? i need more centuries in my life.

    Posted by katie | June 1, 2011, 2:52 PM
  2. Wow, its amazing how far you get when you go 100 miles round trip! Yikes! I’d love to do a century with you sometime, if you’re willing to stop and wait for me every 10 miles. Sounds like fun!

    Posted by Beth | June 1, 2011, 3:29 PM
  3. I need to get a bike. This sounds awesome. P.S. You have bionic legs. Obviously.

    Posted by Victoria (District Chocoholic) | June 1, 2011, 5:31 PM
  4. Awesome work on the century! That looks like good prep for the IMWI hills.

    Posted by Kevin | June 1, 2011, 9:19 PM
  5. Wow girl, you are bad@ss. I’m sad we missed ya on Monday! I’m surprised we didn’t pass you guys at some point during the ride, since we were up in the same gaithersburg/poolesville neck of the woods, hehe:). Those hills out in Pville kicked my booty, too. You are going to be super prepared for your IM, though!!

    Posted by Erin @ untilyoutri | June 3, 2011, 5:03 PM
  6. Such a bad ass. Can you please come to CA and teach me how to ride? That would be loooooovely.

    Posted by Page | June 7, 2011, 4:16 PM


  1. Pingback: Century Rides 2011 — Round #2 « Speed Laces, Amazing Races - June 14, 2011

  2. Pingback: The Dual Sufferfest « Speed Laces, Amazing Races - November 14, 2011

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