Today was “the LAST 100 miles,” because: 1) it’s the last 100 miles I will ride in training before Ironman Coeur d’Alene, and 2) the last 100 miles I will EVER ride in training. Okay, maybe not EVER. (Yes, it is!) Okay, maybe not. (Yes, it is!)
I experienced a lot of emotions going into Athens today for the Wheels to the World Century ride.
First, because the Expert and I spent over six years in Athens at the University of Georgia, and we had tons of fun and memories there…
But I also spent some of my roughest times in Athens. I was incredibly unhealthy for the years we lived there. I entered college a healthy, ex-weightlifter—-and I exited law school as an overweight, un-exercised, smoking, drinking, pale and angry sloth ….(are those enough bad adjectives for you?)
But we had fun.
So coming into Athens for an event like a century ride was … well, a tad surreal. What? We aren’t DRINKING in Athens? WHY are we HERE then?
Anyway, Yoda, Columbus and I met at the Classic Center for another attempt at 100. I say “attempt” (for me) because after the Storm-a-palooza and the Dick Hill “Mantrum” weekends… I was down to my last 100. I had planned to ride at least 6 rides of 100 miles…. this would be my third. Batting 500. I’d take it.
Columbus had some in-parking-garage mechanicals before we started.
And then he posed by the Bulldawg. Even though he graduated from Georgia Tech. His family might disown him for this.
And we were off.
The routes were marked with blue spray paint and the letter “W.” Abou 2 miles in, I saw this on the road, and I told Yoda that I thought we missed the turn.
So we turned.
And I was wrong. We figured it out pretty quickly and looped back. I took Yoda to the scene of the marking.
“That’s a water meter marking,” Yoda said.
“Oh,” I said.
I was no longer in charge of directions.
The ride was long (duh), but we had a good time. The sag stops were pretty few and far between, but the ride was very well supported by SAG vehicles. There were only 18 of us doing the 100 miler, so I was glad that Yoda and I had each other.
The day heated up pretty quickly and with about 29 miles to go, we found a gas station and had a Diet Coke fix.
We saw this sign on the bulletin board.
You cannot beat a small Georgia town. That is all. Only in a small town would someone lose their cows (on a Friday night) and post a sign.
A prank caller’s dream…. “Oh, I saw two cows, but I think they were about 240 pounds. And I’m not sure if they were heifers…”
I rode FREE for 100 miles.
Meaning, I totally left my Garmin sitting on the counter at home. I asked Yoda every so often where we were, time-wise, and distance… but for the most part, I just rode and didn’t worry. I liked that.
Good climbs. Good average pace.
After the ride, I ran a quick 20 minutes and that was that. Ride felt good. Run felt great. And I am ready for a new day of swimming and 10 miles of running tomorrow.
We are officially in June. And it’s 22 days until race day. Night night.