Sunday, June 12, 2016

Well, it has been a while!

Posted by Rachel

I logged in here intending to write about last weekend's century ride, but looking back at my last post I feel like I've missed a lot! Here's a brief summary of things that have happened since March:

Groin injury - totally recovered (woohoo!). Recovery stayed on the up after the Oakland half and by April I was back into running hard, even track workouts.
Pacific Master's Short Course swim meet - beat my times from last year in everything, so I'd consider that a success! 
Trainer Road - started doing a lot more TR workouts and it has been going well! After just a few weeks of starting biking again I re-tested my FTP and it was 2 W higher than last year in the middle of training. Have been working off my new FTP since then and I think I have been getting stronger on the bike!

Now the event I came here to write about - the America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride century in Lake Tahoe! I only signed up for this because my aunt was riding with Team In Training to celebrate her birthday + being 20 years cancer-free. I figured that being out there on the course doing the ride too was an additional way to support her efforts. Several members of our family also came out to watch and the weekend was tons of fun. I am so so impressed with what she did - a relatively new cyclist with no endurance sports background, and she finished 100 miles with a smile, raising a ton of money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the process!

Much less impressive was my day, but it was slightly comical and I figured worth writing about. First of all, I totally meant to train for this century. Seriously. But then I went on vacation in Mexico, then the following week got sick, then the following week got a finger infection (from the gym, don't ask), and so on. 

I'll put a photo of Mexico here because it's by far the nicest image of the 3 options above

So I ended up doing a grand total of 3 rides over 35 miles , and only 1 ride over 50 miles since last July (a 62er). I had no idea if that was enough. When we got to Tahoe, Travers and I chose to run and hike on Saturday instead of bike. My aunt went for a 10 mile bike ride to make sure everything was working ok which I thought was crazy, thinking 'I'll save the pain for the century, thanks'. 

Views from the hike - pretty awesome. I do love Tahoe in the summer.

Sunday was the ride. They had a rolling start and I decided I would go toward the end the avoid congestion. My aunt's group started at 5:30 am before the mass start at 6, since they were the self-proclaimed "slow" group. It was about 6:15 when I decided to fill up my tires, and one minutes later we just hear "hisssssss". My front tire had a tiny slit in it and the air was rushing out. No WONDER my aunt went for that ride to check out her bike...good thinking but too late for me! I just started laughing (I was really tired and found it hilarious) and Travers was annoyed: "You think this is funny? Now we only have 1 tube between the 2 of us!" He insisted I take the tube and he went without one; my tire was maybe compromised so he said I was more likely to get a flat. So we changed it and I made it to the start in time for the very last wave at 6:45 am.
The ride was going ok except it was really congested. The road being closed for the uphill switchback portion near the beginning made it a lot safer. Finally at mile 35 on the way out to Truckee I caught up to my aunt. I was so excited and talked to her for about a minute when I hear "hissssssss". My tire was flat AGAIN. I changed it but bent the tube stem so I couldn't fill it more than 25 psi. Tubeless, I crossed my fingers and just rolled 8 miles into Truckee. Luckily they had a rest stop there with a normal bike pump, a tube for $5, and some much needed bathrooms. 
Top of the hill near Emerald Bay
After Truckee, I found my aunt again near mile 58 and we rode into lunch at mile 70 together. My family was there to greet us and I hung out with them for a while. I hadn't taken in calories since the last rest stop (25 miles back), which was a rookie error so I shoved my face with tons of food as per usual. After a long lunch, my aunt was planning to stick with her training group so I decided to just ride in the last 30 and get the thing over with. There was a relatively long/hot 6 - 8 mile climb at mile 80, but it wasn't terribly steep. I thought of this as the type of ride I was training for LAST summer (super hot and hilly, not hilly and freezing cold rain). 
A view partway up the climb. I can't resist stopping at anything called "scenic overlook".
It wasn't until mile 93 or so that my ass/shoulders/neck/back/toes really started bothering me. Considering my complete lack of distance biking training, I was really thankful I had made it this far but at the same time ready for the ride to be over. I saw a sign that said "South Lake Tahoe - 4 miles". It occurred to me that the ride was going to be short and it was - 98 miles. I saw some fools riding in circles around the parking lot after the finish to reach 100 miles (that was SO me last year), but not me this time. I rode back to the hotel, showered, watched my aunt finish the ride, then watched the Warriors destroy CLE. The worst part of the weekend was the 3.5 hour commute to work from Tahoe the next morning.
So that was last weekend. This morning, we went to watch the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. That was so cool. We saw multiple future Rio Olympians and tons of other amazing athletes. I'm already signed up for the Oakland Tri, but now I'm one click away from signing up for one more this summer, just because tri is awesome and how can you watch one and not want to do it???