On Saturday, I completed my first 80K (50 mile) bike ride! I had attempted a 64 miler earlier in the year, but had to stop because of back problems. Usually most bike races are 31 or 62, and so I was very excited to find an in-between mileage to try before going for the 60+ again. A friend was originally supposed to join me, but a couple of days before she found out that she wasn't going to be able to. So I went solo again.
I had some good carbs and protein the night before, and slept better than I probably ever have the night before an event. The morning of the ride, my breakfast was probably 95% carbs with just a little protein thrown in for good measure. Hubby Tim was kind to accompany and chauffeur me to the event. We got to the start with about 10 minutes to spare! One of my water bottle holders had lost a screw in transit, but I was lucky that the bike mechanic had one that fit. By the time he got that fixed, I had missed the start...so I pretty much started dead last, so I was Caboose like Teresa for a while, but not for long. This course was from Fort Macon to Emerald Isle and back, and so I was really looking forward to some flat riding after all the hills I have conquered this year. I had worried the wind might be bad since I was at the beach, but I lucked out and didn't have to deal with that much at all. This event only had one rest stop, which was at the halfway point. I was ready for a saddle break, that's for sure! I topped off my water bottles, ate a little bit, but was quickly back off, since I was near the back of the pack.
Right around the mileage in the summer race where my back started bothering me, it started aching again. Not so much a spasm this time around, but a persistent ache. I tried to compensate by using the upper handlebars since I wasn't having to shift much, but then I just tensed up in my shoulders. So I kept going back and forth between upper and lower handlebars. Around mile 38 I pulled off the road and did some cat and cow stretches. I'm sure I got some weird looks from passersby, but who cares?!? For the remainder of the ride, I just kept mentally coaching myself to relax and counting down the miles. Tim was waiting for me at the finish, cheering me on, which made me grin from ear to ear.
I figured out a couple of things during this ride: I think my anthem is going to be Katy Perry's "Roar". I actually think I like a more challenging course than a beach ride (at least you get to coast after going up hills usually). And I really, really, really need to go see Gary at TLC for Bikes and have him fit me properly on my bike. Hopefully that will be one of my next posts...