Anyone who knows me knows I am up before dawn most days, no alarm clock necessary. All last weekend I was awake and aware around 6 AM, even with blackout drapes at the hotel, even tired from riding hills....
So imagine my surprise when I woke up yesterday morning and my clock read 8:30! I was supposed to meet up with Linda and Sue to ride a century at 9:00, and the park is 20 minutes away... I jumped out of bed, uttering a bad word or two... The Husband asked what was wrong and I said "I HAVE TO LEAVE RIGHT NOW". He aired up my tires and loaded the bike in the truck while I threw on some clothes, made a sandwich, and packed water and recovery drink (it was going to be a century after all--can't ride 100 miles with no fuel). I ran out the door at 8:38, time to get there! Wouldn't you know it--there was a train, stopped dead. By the time I went around the train (one mile north and then back south) I was late to the meeting point. It was 9:10 when I parked the truck, a few cars and bike racks but no bikers in sight.
I started out alone, thinking that I would catch up with them at one of the usual resting points, but alas, it was not to be. After not seeing them at the second usual stop I bit the bullet and headed into the wind (15 MPH, gusting to 25). First stop: my sister's house at 25 miles into the ride. She was not home but my nephew David was a gracious host; I ate my banana and continued on, the wind at my back. I stopped next (46 miles) at my cousin Margaret's house--two cars in the driveway but no one home. On to the gas station for a comfort break and some trail mix and recovery drink. I called The Husband and asked him to meet me for lunch.... after some frantic miscommunications (I was not nice, sorry to say) we met up and had a great lunch--turkey sandwich, vegetable soup, and chocolate pie for me.
After lunch I headed west (back into the wind) and finished the last 35 miles in the metro park system. I started to falter at mile 80, called my cousin Kat for encouragement and she didn't let me down! (Thanks). At the end of the ride I felt great! (maybe I was just glad it was over). I recovered very quickly, which was a really good sign after my bonking last week in KY. I loaded the bike and headed home with a smile on my face.
The century was my last long training ride. It is taper time now, and I am sending my bike to LA tomorrow morning after the bike shop tweaks it one more time. I still have to pack 50 days worth of stuff in two little bags, purchase the rest of the recommended supplies, send out care packages to the rest day hotels, get the rest of my hair cut off (I already cut off the pony tail, the rest is coming off Saturday), make a list for The Husband for when I'm gone, buy a bigger mailbox, break in the new bike shoes (the old ones started hurting yesterday), get the house and yard ready for the party Sunday, attend a first communion and a graduation party on Saturday, balance the checkbook and make sure I have enough to cover the time I'm gone (gotta love automatic deposit and payments!). The tapering rides this week are all in the 10 to 30 mile range, so I will easily be able to do them on the mountain bike while breaking in the shoes... the rides may be the only relaxation I get this week!