Below is a recap from my 100 MON ride last saturday. The 100 MON is a great ride organized by FatCyclist.com to benefit LiveStrong and other great causes. This was my first century ride, and I can’t wait to do more – the feeling of accomplishment after finishing 100 miles is so great.
East Potomac Park, DC Winner
In my limited experience, proper training and diet are keys to sucessful long-distance riding. Being my first ever century, the months leading up to the 2011 100 MON should have been filled with more than a few longer training rides and a firm commitment to eat healthier.
Instead I went to the Outer Banks for a Bachelor party (lots of beer), got engaged (bring on some fancy fattening dinners), and visited New Orleans for Jazzfest (so many po’ boys). I also realized that running 3-4 miles twice a week to prepare for my first ever half-marathon in late June wasn’t going to cut it – so the bike was put aside and I slowly, sorta, kinda ramped up my running distance to 8-9 mile runs.
Long story short, between April 1 and June 4 I rode for exactly 25.4 miles. The night before the 100 MON my dinner consisted of 2 New Belgium
Fat Tires (smuggled home from the Outer Banks), some really tasty blue brie cheese and 2 veggie burgers (no bun, just avacado and red onion).
I convinced myself that this ride should be no problem! I was prepared!
At the same time I am secretly realizing that this is likely going to be a problem.On the morning of the ride I was a little nervous, but I loaded up the wonderful Acorn Boxy Rando Bag
on my Surly LHT with sunscreen, almonds, cliff bars and a few other goodies and set out to complete 30 laps around East Potomac Park
. With the exception of a small detour to Arlington National Cemetery due to the huge amounts of street closures to keep the walkers safe for a Susan G. Komen Walk (can you really get upset at that…no), the first 20 miles went by in a flash.And I felt good.
Like really good.
By the 50 mile mark at noon the heat was picking up and I quickly realized that every single water fountain in the park was out of service. Then, somewhere near lap 16 I noticed a small sign, a sign of salvation… a simple fork and knife with an arrow pointing towards the golf course. Could it be… they have a concession stand?
As choirs of angels sang out from above, I rode up and realized it wasn’t just a concession stand – it was air conditioned, they served real food, had bathrooms, even some really good beer on tap! This was going to make the ride really bearable, maybe even fun! I loaded up on some water, gatorade and a snickers bar and set back off. Miles 50-80 were mentally tough, but at least I was keeping a nice consistent speed all morning and afternoon – finishing in a pretty decent time seemed realistic! Again at about mile 85 I was starting to drag butt a bit when my lovely fiancee showed up with a sandwich from DC’s best South-Philly style Italian deli – Taylor Gourmet
. Usually when I eat there I feel horrible afterwards – but thats mostly because I get through one of their delicious 12″ subs before I take a breath. Luckily this was a mere 6″ bundle of carbs and protein… enough to power through the last 15 miles.
Miles 85-93 felt ok, the mental exhaustion of riding the same loops was really taking a toll… and by mile 93 I finally felt like my legs were about finished. Then it began to rain… only slightly. A brief pause to talk with another LHT rider at a stop sign refreshed my batteried, a nice fellow from Baltimore. I started to feel good…. Maybe I can do this. I left the park and began the ride home through he city streets. While the rest at stoplights felt good, I could also tell the burst of energy required to get going again every time I stopped was becoming harder and harder to find (And seriously taking a toll on my average speed numbers).The final results… 102.48 miles in 7 hours, 1 minute and 30 seconds for an average of about 14.6 mph.Not too bad! Enough for a spot at the top of the podium, and a well deserved dinner feast, and some sexy glove tan lines.
Thanks Fatty – I’ll be riding again next year!