Spring is in the air and what do former X-C runners do who are too old to run marathons? We ride 100 miles on a bike in a day. My logic for doing this was that the across-the-country bike rides that I've been looking at typically have days and days and days of long riding with the occassional 100-mile day so I should be able to do at least one 100 mile day.
My primary goal was to finish. I did that. Total time on the bike was about seven hours. My secondary goal was to maintain a decent pace for the first 50 miles. I did that. Time on the bike for the first 50 was 2:58.
This was not a race, but was an organized event (click on the title of the post) that started at 7:30 A.M. and they wanted people to be done riding by 3:30 with a drop-dead time of 4:00 when all support for riders stopped. The requirement of averaging 12.5 miles/hour including rest stops was somewhat inspirational.
The riding went well for the first 52 miles. Then, just about a half-mile from the "halfway" rest stop, I got leg cramps. The next 50 miles were tough because I was fighting leg cramps and the wind was really nasty. The cramps were probably the result of dehydration and just plain old being tired. Prior to this ride my longest ride had been 33 miles.
The worst part of the ride was at the very end when my little group couldn't find the finish. Mentally, I was prepared to go 100 miles. The fact that the course was probably 103 miles and that not finding the shortest path to the finish added another mile or two was really frustrating. Driving 75 miles home after the ride just added to the fun. Once I got home I took a shower and then spent the rest of the day crawled up in a little ball in bed moaning in pain.
In addition to not drinking enough I made at least two other rookie mistakes. I put too much sunblock on my forehead and when it melted away and ran into my it was very difficult to see and it made my eyes hurt. I didn't where any glasses. I thought about wearing them and decided that they would probably annoy me. That was a mistake because I didn't factor in the glare reflecting off the road on an all-day ride. Most of my riding has been in late afternoon and early evening when the sun hasn't been strong.
It will probably be two weeks before I'm back on the bike because on Tuesday morning I leave for Silicon Valley and Japan. So running will have to do until I return.