Covington Century

Right before I left for my Europe trip, someone posted about the 20th Annual Covington Century on FM. I thought it might be a good first century (100 mile bike ride) for me to do because they claim it to be the "fastest and flattest". Prior to that posting I'd been riding 6 days a week usually between 25 and 35 miles with some longer rides on weekends, but I was going to be off the bike for 2 weeks to to Europe so eh, we'll see. I got back from Europe on Tuesday, and 25 miles on Wednesday morning felt pretty good so I signed up for the century and planned to catch a ride with Roger down there. 5:45am on Saturday we started and had exchanged money for registration packets, applied sunscreen, and eaten PowerBars by the start of the ride at 8am. The first 2 miles was a very slow start with the kids that this ride was raising money for leading the pack, but once they pulled off things started to pick up. Roger, Jase, Jenny, Chris, Anna, and I all stuck together for a while and we skipped the first rest stop 10 miles in because the crowd was still pretty big. Over the next few miles, things got a bit more spread out and at some point Roger, Jenny, Chris, and I lost Jase and Anna. We stopped at all the rest of the rest stops and I alternated eating a banana with eating a pbj sandwich and a few shot blocks. I tried to alternate my Acceleraide with Poweraide and water that was provided at the rest stops, but Acceleraide is really a lot better so it was gone pretty quickly, which turned out to be my only real mistake for the ride. At the turnoff to do 80 miles or 100 miles, Chris and Jenny pulled off. It was 95 degrees or so and riding that far in the sun just isn't fun! Roger and I kept on going and ended up meeting up with Anna two more rest stops out (she did the 80 option so at that point we both had 20 miles left to go). We rode with her for a few miles, but my arms and shoulders were getting pretty sore at that point and I knew that I needed to speed up and finish or I wouldn't make it, so I pulled off. I kept downing Poweraide and after 5:52:23 moving time I finished the 102 mile course. (We probably took ~45 minutes of breaks.) After riding that far, it's understandable that one would feel pretty bad, but everyone else was eating huge plates of free spaghetti and the though of food made me sick to my stomach. I dealt with it until I got home where my body "removed" about 1.5 liters of Poweraide and I felt a bit better. Acceleraide is multiple kinds of sugar, salt, protein, etc, while Poweraide is just very sugary water, and it turns out that by drinking so much Poweraide, I'd induced a sugar stomachache similar to kids on Halloween. It's now 14 hours later and I feel fine, but up until now it's been pretty rough. All in all, I'm glad I did it, and 17.4mph moving average isn't bad for a first one! I hit 46mph at one point on a big hill, had a 155bpm average heart rate (84% of my max which is a little high), and my average cadence was 74rpm (which is about right, though I'd like that to be a little higher). Hopefully some people will post their pictures soon. It's 7:15am on Sunday now and I'm craving some chicken fingers and fries, and I'll hopefully be back on my morning rides tomorrow or Tuesday!

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