Sunday, September 28, 2008

Big Dam Bridge 100 Ride Report

This was my third Century and I’ll have to say the best ever. My longest ride in training for this one was only 66 miles and the past two weeks I missed most of my mileage so I really didn’t know what to expect. We had trained hard at the shorter distance so I hoped that would help. I just knew I had to be conservative.

Heather, James, Gary, Rock, me, Curtis, Russ just before the start

We almost missed the start but were able to jump in the middle of the pack. The first 25 miles we rode somewhat conservative with Gary, Curtis, Rock, James, Heather and Russ. I think going out a little slower helped us a lot latter on.

Part of our group crossing the bridge at the start

We stopped at the Maumelle rest area so everyone could use the bathroom then we rode past the Mayflower stop. James, Russ and Heather turned around there as they decided to just do 50. We saw one crash before Mayflower then another really bad one at the intersection of I40 and 89. There would be more. Just past Mayflower we started hitting the hills. Rock started having some issues with her IT but stopped and stretched it out. Next stop would be the Fortson and Sayles rest stop to prepare for Billy Goat Mountain.

Gary, Rock, Curtis, me, fellow blogger Gabby and Gary

Billy Goat was hard but not as bad as last weekend when I rode it. Maybe it was because I already knew what to expect. I found that as long as I didn’t look up and just keep moving, the hills would eventually go away. They did throw a twist into the course. Instead of going out to Hwy 107 and then to Otto Road they turned the course up the mountain on another road that cut over to Otto. This road was terrible. It was rough chip seal and felt like you were riding on a gravel road. We had a long climb to the top of the mountain but it wasn’t real steep so it wasn’t that bad. Then it was a fast downhill. Halfway down the mountain there was a hairpin turn and the volunteers were set up there warning people to slow down and watch for loose gravel. Once you made the turn it was a long rough downhill into the valley. Here we saw another bad crash. We think someone blew a tire on the downhill and the guys arm was pretty scrapped up.

Otto Road was nice and smooth and we started pacing again here. We stopped at the aid station at the church and refueled. Rock got here cleats adjusted some. We saw another guy there that had crashed evidently. He had a bandage on his head but was still riding.

The ride on in to Conway was good but we had some wind to deal with. We had a big group of fast riders pass us and we latched on to their wheel for a while but they were really fast and we just really didn’t want to ride that hard. I really liked the new route around the airport. Made the traffic not as bad. We stopped at the Conway stop and refueled again.

Me at Conway

Curtis & Rock at Conway

Getting out of Conway was not as fun. There was little or no support through the red lights on Donaghey. We had to fight the traffic here but we got through it. Slowed us down quite a bit.

Then it was more hills again. There were a couple monsters between Conway and Mayflower but after doing Billy Goat they didn’t seem too bad. By this time we were close to 70 miles in and the hills did hurt. We planned to buzz through the Mayflower aid station and just refill with water but we got stopped by a train. This cost us a good 5-10 minutes. Then we did have to stop for water.

We picked the pace up a little on the last 25 and had the wind helping us some it seemed. The hills coming back seemed like nothing after the big ones earlier. We stopped at Maumelle so Curtis could get his jacket that he hid in the bushes.

By the time we were on the other side of Maumelle I realized that we were going to finish in less than 7 hours which would be a big PR for me. We were on the home stretch and all we had to do was keep moving. We crossed the finish line at 6:58 and we were 4 wide crossing which was pretty cool. We all stayed together the whole ride and never let anyone drop. I never felt like I wanted to quit the whole ride and never felt bad. My shoulders and butt was starting to get sore though. Curtis did an awesome job pacing us most of the way though we all did some pulling. After the finish I did feel a little light headed, why I don’t know. Tried to walk it off but that didn’t help. Thanks to Vicki, she had a coke in her car so that helped a bunch.

Fixing to cross the finish line together, me, Rock, Gary, Curtis

Gabby, aka Gab's a trucker finishing her first 100 miler

On nutrition I think I did pretty good. Probably didn’t drink enough during the first 25 since it was cooler. I ate one whole banana, 3/4 ‘s of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, probably 5 cookies at least. I really liked the Vanilla wafers and peanut butter at the Maumelle stop. Had pickle juice, ate about two ounce of Hammer gel, and some peanut butter crackers. I tried to take two endurolytes every hour, ended up only taking 8 though. Took 2 Sportlegs every two hours which I have no doubt helped my legs, especially on the hills.

Post race I had a big plate at Corino’s for dinner, Spaghetti, lasagna, and chicken parmesan plus salad and cake for desert. I ate all of it too! Almost got my 6500 calories back that I burnt.

It was a great ride, great weather, with great friends.

Final stats:

Official clock time - 6:58

unofficial bike only time - 5:55 - 17.0 mph avg. pace

6487 Calories burnt

Avg. heart rate 156 max 186

Starting temperature - 62 degrees

Ending temperature - 83 degrees and sunny


Cheryl said...

Excellent Ride!!! I'm so glad you got a PR, I knew you would though! 6500 calories, that's amazing, makes my 1100 look like peanuts!

Great report, I'm glad the four of you got to ride in together and rode together the entire 100 miles, that's pretty cool in itself.

ShirleyPerly said...

Congrats on your PR!! I've yet to do any long ride that involved large amounts of drafting and/or pulling. But with a new road bike next year, that will likely change. Thanks for sharing your century experience!

Susan said...

Congratulations! And you got to ride AND finish with an IronMan -- wow wow wow!

gabsatrucker said...

Arland, is there anyway I can get a copy of the finish line photo of Gary R. and me? I would definitely pay to get a print of it. Thanks!! Gabrielle