Monday, June 6, 2011

100 Miles of Nowhere 2011

It's June, and today Kathleen and I did the 100 Miles of Nowhere "race" which benefits Livestrong, and is the brainchild of the Fat Cyclist. The idea is that people all over the world do a 100 mile ride on a trainer, rollers, or a short circuit, and since you get to define your own "class" you are pretty much guaranteed a win. I had won my class last year, and intended to defend my title this year. Well intent is good, but the reality is that I have been getting my butt kicked at work for about a month and a half, and leading into the event had suffered through two weeks of 20 hour days, so not a lot of "training" going on for me lately as evidenced by the lack of entries here in my blog. Also worth noting, the actual day of the "race" I was busy working, but in a related way. For those who don't know what I do, I am an account manager, and former engineer, for one of the largest sound companies on the east coast. So at any rate, 6/4 (race day for most people doing the 100 MON) I was down on the National Mall providing audio support for the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure, 60K people, and I believe they raised 4.5M for the cause that day.
For me this meant that I was managing 2 Tractor Trailers and 4 24' Straight Trucks of audio equipment, and a team of 10 very talented engineers to provide audio support for the start line system (above) covering about 6 city blocks, the finish line (below), and a half dozen small systems in the various tents. The day of show started at 4:00AM for us, and ended about 7:00PM that evening. I had gotten to bed at the reasonable hour of 11:30PM the night before, and also was checking in on my other events around the city during the afternoon, so I was primed for race day.
Race morning dawned on Sunday for us, our plan was to get up about 6:00AM and get started at about 7:00AM, but when the alarm clock went off, I pleaded for another half hour of sleep, which turned into getting up about 9:45 and starting at 11:00AM. We loaded up the car and drove up to Lake Montebello, where the race was being held again this year. Here we are arriving at the lake and parked in our designated parking spot (shady).
The bikes of course have the number plates on, wouldn't want to not get counted.
We got it together and got rolling, here is Kathleen following me on the first lap.
About 10 miles in we stopped for a snack, and lost the number plates, the positioning was driving us both crazy. Luckily I know the score keeper (my Garmin) so I was pretty sure we would have all of our distance counted.
It really was a nice day at the lake high 70's not to humid, and a little overcast. If I knew what I was doing I would stitch these photos together to make a groovy panoramic shot, but since I don't you all will have to use your imagination.
We continued on, and about mile 30 Kathleen had to use the facilities, but since there aren't any at the lake, she ditched me and the bikes and took the team car to the Y a few blocks away where she swims.
Once she returned, we continued on our quest racking up the miles around the lake. It is interesting being there for that long, we saw people jogging, using the fitness equipment that is positioned all around the lake, washing their cars, other bicyclists doing laps, little kids learning how to ride bikes and rollerskate, people walking their dogs, and making music.
A lot of folks came out and brought lawn chairs and enjoyed the paper.
About mile 50 we stopped for lunch. Here is Kathleen enjoying a freshly made PBJ.
And here I am, washing down my PBJ with a little coke.
Then contemplating my fate at the reality that we are only halfway done.
At this point, I was already starting to feel the cumulative effect of lack of sleep, stress, and questionable food intake for the prior two weeks. I was starting to get a cramp in my calf, and my quads were getting a little sore. But we pressed on, the sun had come out, the winds had died down (the lake is at the top of the hill, it is always breezy here), and the lake became a big mirror for a little while.
We did a few more laps, and I realized there was no way I was going to make it to the end, so we decided that 75 miles would be good, and would be farther than either of us had ridden to date (as adults). At about mile 68 the race organizer for my class (me) decided that it was time to stop, so the Sound Engineer class was shortened to 70 miles. Kathleen kept rolling towards 75, here she is telling me that her Garmin battery died (it had been saying low battery for a while).
I started to keep track of her laps so I could let her know when her bell lap was starting. The local geese were not particularly impressed, but seemed to be enjoying the day.
Finally Kathleen came around for the big sprint finish and won her class :). Here she is crossing the line in a proper victory salute.
Then we packed up our stuff, and headed for the homestead. On our way out of the park one of the folks hanging out at the lake raised his glass as if in a toast to us as we went by, I had wondered if anybody noticed that we were at it for several hours. Driving home my legs were so blown out and my calves cramping that shifting the team car became a real chore. We got home, got cleaned up, and headed across the street to Salt for a victory dinner.
Once again this proved to be a valuable lesson for me, first, drink more water. I only drank about 2 and 1/2 bottles of water over the course of the day, which was probably about half of what I should have drank. Second, eat more. I ate a couple of Honey Stinger waffles, a couple of packets of Jelly Belly Sport Beans, and a PBJ which probably wasn't nearly enough food for the amount of effort. Third, and probably the most important, don't assume that because you can do a metric century without any special training in the fall after getting in quite a bit of riding all summer, that come spring you can do a full century without any training or sleep. But it was fun, and set a new personal distance record for me, hopefully I can do it again next year (and go 100 miles this time). I would like to thank Fatty, and all of the sponsors he roped into providing stuff for the goody bag. I appreciated being a part of it again, and proud to help the cause.

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