What a ride! I can’t believe I just rode my first Metric Century! 60 miles on a bike is a long, long way… but it sure was FUN! AND I beat my goal time!
Our morning started really early.
My alarm went off at 4:00 AM and the first thing I did was put the magical eye drops in my sore eye. If you haven’t read it already, I actually got diagnosed with an cornea ulcer on Saturday morning. Thank goodness the doctor prescribed me some miracle eye drops because I didn’t have to wear an eye patch on the bike!
Breakfast was super fueling:
It might look look a LOT of French Toast, but these are mini-toasts (50 calories each). Plus nectarine and maple syrup. AND a big coffee!
We drove to Melbourne, which is on the East Coast of Florida and about 1 hour from my house.
We immediately checked in and picked up our packets.
There was about 250 riders at the event. The distance options were 30 miles, a Metric Century (60 miles), or a Century (100 miles). The group was pretty evenly split!
I grabbed a 1/2 a bagel with cream cheese….
And then we headed back to the car to gear up! I put on my sweet clip-on sunglasses over my regular glasses…. super lame, but it worked.
And Dad got out his tricycle. This thing is FAST!
Dad and I together, all ready to go:
I must admit that I was really, really nervous when we lined up at the starting line. My stomach was in knots, and I felt lightheaded! The furthest I’d ever biked was 40 miles and I’ve certainly never biked in a ‘group race’ before!
The proverbial gun went off and for the first 30 miles, I made a total rookie mistake — I went too fast! I was just so excited to be on the road. I got caught up in the ‘group ride’ aspect and totally pushed my leggies to the limit. If it had been a short ride, I would’ve been fine, but I just didn’t think about the fact that I had 30 more miles to go! I would say we were averaging about 17.0 mph (I was doing a LOT of drafting).
Then, we arrived at the first aid station! It was a very well-stocked station and the volunteers were so supportive!
I grabbed an oreo and a watermelon:
After 5.0 more miles, I took a goo packet. I stashed my goo under my bike shorts so I could grab them while I was riding:
All in all, I think I took in about 700 calories during the ride. I never felt under-fueled, which is good! I also took electrolyte tablets and never felt dehydrated.
I hit a wall around Mile 30. My legs got so heavy, it was really hot out (91 degrees!), and the wind was blowing in my face.
Mile 30 – 45 was pretty slow and torturous. I dropped down to about 12.0 mph and people kept passing me and my Dad. I started to mentally psych myself out by thinking, "I still have 20 miles left! How am I going to make it?"
I asked Dad to stop so I could stretch out and eat something. I had a Kashi Roll bar and drank some water. And I took another goo soon after — it definitely improved my mood! So did the pretty scenery!
By Mile 45, we were back at the aid station. Again, I grabbed an oreo and a watermelon. Mmmm!
I totally got my second wind after Mile 45 — just knowing I was soooo close to the finish line and close to my goal time made me really push it.
My dad and I got into a little "pack" with two other (male) riders and I began to draft them. They were going about 17.0 mph and I stuck with them for the entire last hour of the ride. I’m not going to lie — it was HARD, HARD, HARD! Almost as hard as running a half-marathon! My legs were SCREAMING, I was panting, it was hot….
My mantra became, "Lay the hammer down, lay the hammer down, lay the hammer down," which I heard a volunteer call out at the beginning of the race. I repeated that mantra over and over again for at least an hour!
When it got really bad, I thought to myself, "You’ve had worse runs then this bike ride!" And then I tried to recall all the harder races I’d run before. But you know what’s funny? The only hard race I could remember was the Crooms 15.4 Mile Trail Race, which happens to be the last race I’d run. Now, I KNOW I’ve had hard races — races when I totally wanted to die at the end, when I left it all out there on the road, when I puked at the finish line — but I couldn’t remember a SINGLE other bad moment! It’s funny how the mind wipes away all the bad memories and only remembers the happy finishes — that realization made me go even FASTER!
I was SO relieved to see the finish line! 60 miles is a LONG, LONG WAY!
- Duration: 4 hours, 24 minutes
- Distance: 60 miles
- Calories Burned: 2,400 (WOWZA)
Hot sweaty messes! And sweet clip-on sunglasses!
My Dad and I drove immediately to Subway. I ordered a 6-inch veggie sub with cheese. Plus, Sun Chips!
I also bought some ice so I could ice down my knees on the long ride home. My IT band was really acting up during the race, so I want to play it safe!
All in all, it was a fabulous ride! It was a fun experience to have with my dad, and it was very cool to do something new and challenging. I’m glad I discovered cycling — it’s almost as fun as running.
Have a wonderful afternoon!
Time to foam roll, eat, shower, and NAP!