So with all that commotion, I did not eat in a way I would normally before a big workout day. In fact, I ate total crap all day. I'm not sure if I had a single vegetable. Sigh.
I paid for it today.
Fellow Venus de Miles Ambassadors Lauren and Alyssa and I decided to meet up for a brick workout today. The Udder Century ended up fitting into our plan perfectly. Hosted by the McHenry County Bicycling Club, the cow-themed ride features 32, 50, 62, 75 and 100-mile options. The 50-mile ride through McHenry County was ideal for our training regime, so I picked up Alyssa this morning and we drove up to Union to meet Lauren, her husband and friends from their tri group.
I registered in advance at a cost of $22, but Alyssa had no trouble checking in when we rolled on the scene around 8 a.m. We ended up taking the to the streets around 8:30 a.m.
It was a lot colder than I had hoped, topping out at 60 degrees today. I'm glad I wore arm warmers with my Venus de Miles jersey. The first 17 miles were fairly uneventful and we arrived at the first rest station to enjoy PB&J sandwiches, peanuts, strawberry cereal bars, bananas and oranges slices. Volunteers also offered water, gatorade and lemonade at both rest stops. The rest stops we visited also had port-o-potties and regular toilets.
Alyssa and I were both freezing and eager to get back on the road, but if we had only known what was coming, we might have been less than excited.
Wind. Lots and lots of wind from every side other than what would have been to our advantage. There was a lot of cursing, and we all agreed that we were working way too hard to only be pushing 12 miles per hour.
It was what we call a character-building ride.
By the time we rolled into the next aid station, we were wind-swept messes. I gladly chowed down on a half a bagel with cream cheese, along with two cookies. Volunteers slathered your choice of bagels with toppings, along with offering up a variety of different energy bars and the perfect photo opp with a cow. Then, it was time to moooove it along (sorry, had to).
The last 15 miles made the previous miles worth it. It was so fun to go fast! And hey, we earned it by cranking through the miles.
My Garmin died shortly after we reached 50 miles, but I believe we ticked off about 53 miles total. At this point, Alyssa and I stowed our bikes and headed out for another 40 minutes on the pavement.
But my stomach had other plans. I had to leave her on the run and turn back for the bathrooms. I tried to go for another loop, but my tummy was like "I'm not sure you're understanding that we, ma'am, have had enough."
Only I can cycle 50 miles and still be disappointed in myself. I'm choosing to focus on the good parts of this ride rather than the run I couldn't complete.
I waited for the ladies to return, and then we enjoyed a lovely pasta luncheon from the race.
All told, I thought this was a great deal. We got food at the aid stations along with lunch, all while supporting a local bike club. I just wish we had better weather, and I hadn't eaten everything I could get my hands on yesterday. Bad Kelly.
The back of my left knee is quite sore, but otherwise, I'm confident I could have run the miles had it not been for my tummy troubles.
Time: 3:16:11 for 50ish miles
Cost: $22 for pre-registration, $30 on day of
Pros: Great food, a decent amount of bathrooms, fun post-ride party, cute cow theme, well-marked course, fantastic volunteers, plenty of technical support, too
Cons: Weather! Oh em gee it was rough. Parking was a bit tough, too.