or when asked this week, "How was the ride?" My line was, "Well...the first 90 miles were easy..."
In truth, it felt pretty self-indulgent to do a century on the beautiful SoCal coast when so many on the east coast were without power and were (and still are) trying to have patience while getting their lives back into something that more closely resembles order. As I am now a very, very, very part time blogger at best, I have sorta lost contact with some (many) of my east coast blogger friends. Some blog regularly, some less so, some maybe have stopped all together, but luckily due to the magic that is Facebook, I still keep in touch with more than a few of you.
In any event, as I cruised up and down the SoCal coast last weekend, on a particularly brilliant and perfect day, I couldn't help but think how blessed I am to live in this part of the world, how lucky I am to be able to do the things I love to do, and even while I write this, I am struck by how enviable my life may be, if only for the fact that our home has electricity and I have the power, literally, to use my computer.
100 miles gives you a LOT of time to think about things...
The herd (well...three of us) completed our first Century, and Wilma completed a 50 miler. The course for the century was one that we have been on, in shorter segments, plenty of times. Up and down the coast, from the Oceanside Pier through Del Mar, then a short loop around Carmel Valley, then back up to Oceanside...Twice for the Century, once (obviously) for the 50 mile route.
|Yeah... I know, a brutal day to be in SoCal...|
|There you have it... back and forth...four times|
|At the start. The Century riders started at 6:50...we started at 7:05. Don't we look snazzy with our alternating lime-green and black sleeves?|
|Mik and I at the 25 mile SAG stop. The morning wasn't cloudy, but it was so darn early when we started, and it was before the time change, so it was sorta dawn-y, so I wore the yellow lenses. They worked out really well.|
|I just love this photo because it illustrates my extraordinary photography skills and how I NEVER pay attention to anything in the background whenI decide to take a shot!|
|Ah... 50 miles!|
|Stopped at a light in We followed Arrogant Bastard Ale guy for awhile. Here's nice view of the backs of the Heffer jerseys on Seven and Betty. The day became sufficiently warm enough to take off the arm-warmer sleeves.|
Miles 50 - 75 miles were the same as the first, back down the coast, only warmer and THANKFULLY, less crowded. With the wind at our backs, we cruised down the coast. I turned off the 1 mile "lap" timer on my Garmin, so I have no idea what our pace was for Miles 50-75, but they certainly FELT faster. Before we knew it, we were back at SAG 1, which was now SAG 3.
|At 75 miles, we took pix of our feet. And yes, we have matching cow socks.|
|Somehow Betty thought everyone needed to put their hands on my leg....|
Also... no we don't know JM, nor do we know anything about JMs specialty parts (Clarence asked).
|Just like we did in this shot (from the Nike Women's 1/2 LAST October) ... I have no idea how she remembers these things..|
|See how you can't see Seven in this shot...that's because Betty and Mik are in such a kick-ass pace line.|
I noticed along the way that Mik waved at all the trains. She's a kinder-teacher through and through. I love her!
With about 8 miles to go, it was my turn to pull. I do think this is where my "runners mentality" really helped because I just put my head down and pedaled as hard as I could. I felt how I usually feel in teh last mile of a half marathon, where I tell myself that it's only a mile, that I've run plenty of MILES, and that if I run really fast, I will be done SOONER, and then I can STOP.
Really. I was DONE! My legs at that point actually started burning (has NEVER happened to me on a ride before).
The BEST thing of all happened on the way back with about 2 miles to go, as we were headed back into Oceanside, there was an uphill left turn on PCH. I've made this left LOTS of times. Sometimes we get lucky and there's no oncoming traffic so that we don't have to stop on a hill; sometimes we don't. And it's tricky because we can't always see the oncoming traffic because it's a little rolling hill, so there's no way to really time it.
We (and by we, I mean me, Mik, Seven, Betty, and a few other century riders who we'd been clumped with) crossed over to the left turn lane and as we neared the street where we needed to turn, a car appeared over the hill...which meant we HAD TO STOP...ON A HILL... AT 98.5 MILES... GAH!!!!!
But this guy is going to heaven because he actually STOPPED and let us go ahead!
I screamed out I LOVE YOU!!! because at that moment, I did!
Within two miles, we were DONE!
|Riders received one "free" photo. Here's my finishing photo. I almost missed the guy as I we neared the finish...also, do you think my seat should be higher? It looks like I'm squatting...hmmmmm.|
|And we were done... 6:53 riding time. About 8:20 total time. One of the HUGE differences between a century and a marathon is the time. Riding takes just a heck of a lot longer!|
Once we ate, we were fueled and ready for some laughs... This was Seven's first even with us, so she needed to experience a full Heffer Event.
It started with Betty, who convinced the race announcer that we had won the "Best Jersey Contest," which, until Betty decided we'd won, there wasn't one.
|Here we are... winning our awards!|
|Since the green in our shirts matched the green screen, the photographer had some difficulty getting us to|
|Mik thought Betty would be doing the other side of a "heffer-bump" but Betty was having none of it.|
|Seven was feeling strong, and probably ready for another 100...right then and right there.|
|Fabulous... it sucks living here. I know. I know.|
All in all it was a great ride, and while I don't see myself doing a Century in the near future (sorry Seven...the weeks of training leading up to the Century just ate a bit too much into family time on weekends), I am glad I did it. Once again, we Heffers proved to ourselves that we can do anything we put our minds to, and (perhaps most importantly) have fun while we are at it!