Saturday, 28 September, 2002
Waco Wild West Century
I was up at 4:00 am to get ready for today's ride. I had packed most things last night, put the bike on the truck, and had my clothes laid out. Breakfast at 4:30 (toast and a banana), and I was on the road. The start of the ride was 85 miles from the house. I got there in plenty of time to pick up my packet, reassemble the bike (just put the front back wheel back on), stretch, and warm up. The ride started promptly at 8:00 am. And then my brain fell apart.
I've been riding regularly for 8 weeks now, learning how to do everything right. I know how much water and Gatorade I'm supposed to drink, how much I'm supposed to eat during a long ride, and what my heart rate monitor should read as I'm riding. When the ride started, all that went out the window. I took off like a shot along with the fast riders, and completed the first 8 miles in about 20 minutes. I slowed down a bit, but still averaged 20 MPH for the first 35 miles, and with an average heart rate that was way too high. I finally slowed down and began to get my heart rate under control, but by that time the damage was done. The next 30 miles were very slow and painful, partly because I had burned so much energy early on, and partly because it was almost all into the wind. I got my "second wind" at around 70 miles, and was able to finish the ride with some energy to spare, but not at all with the strength that I had planned for. I finally crossed the finish line about 7 hours after I'd started. I could have finished sooner, had I not spent so much time enjoying the rest stops. I'm happy to have completed the ride, but a bit disappointed that I lost my mind there at the beginning. Oh well, next time I'll know better than to do that.