Saturday, September 3, 2011

Seattle to Portland 2011 One Day Ride

STP Ride

I expected to be nervous for this. I was excited though. Now that its done, I should have been more nervous.
July 9, 2011
Seattle, WA  University of WA Parking Lot E-1 

200 am

That start was 430am. I chose to get a timing chip which meant we had to wait 15 minutes in order to be clocked. I am so use to runs being time I just had to rent the chip. The morning off I was nervous because I hadn't made arrangements to meet my riding partner. Not sure how we missed out do that part. At one point I settled into the fact I would be riding alone. But there he was! "I have a gift for you!" he said. He rode back to his car to get it. A Cure JM riding jersey! It was awesome. 

It was about 440 when we saddle up and headed for the start line. I had no jitters. It was more excitement. The pain of riding usually doesn't hit till later. Not like running, where right out of the gate your breathing and burning. Starting on the very street where for the past two years I had spent hours on because of bad traffic after returning home from the hospital. I was quickly introduced to one of the not favorite parts of the ride. The large cracks my slim tires gave my body quit the jolt. After 200 miles of jolts, my body was a little fed up. But at that point I didn't realize those we so bad. 

Born in raised in Seattle you would think I would have experienced most of it. The route came over a bridge I had never been on before. It circled around neighbors which led us to the shores of Lake Washington. It was still chilly, but the view distracted me from that. Lake Washington with Mount Rainer in the background at sunrise. God was present. Right from the get go I was very happy to have my riding partner with me. As a rider, and a courtesy, you are required to call out turns, passings, railroad tracks, holes, cars, ect,. I let Jake do that the first fifty miles until I became more accustomed to it. 

My first hill was small but sharp. I was chatting with Jake telling him I had done 2 marathons and a triathlon on this very route. As a spoke the words we turned sharp right. I found myself on the hill in my big ring. Embarrassing rookie mistake. It took me twice as long to get up the short hill as it did Jake. Ugh. Oh well. We quickly found ourselves in Renton. I was still very excited. I told Jake that I was having so much fun. I told him I would let him know when it wasn't fun anymore.  Renton was rough road with all the rivets, dips, bonks, and jolts.  The first 25 was REI in Kent.  No need to stop. We were just getting warmed up. Puyallup.  Never have been to or have gotten to Puyallup via the route we took but it was pretty neat.  My pace was not on par with Jake.  He ended up being my link the entire ride.  His patient and support kept me pedaling.  And he waited.   
My First Big Hill
Mile 45.  It is significant enough to be mention in the route description.  I could hardly believe we were already there.  I put it into my spin gear and started working it.  It was there on that hill I got a wake up call.  It seemed that no one else used that gear and everyone was significantly faster than I was. The endurance was remarkable.  I spun and spun and worked the hill. The others flew right by me.  I would like to label it humility but it really wasn't.  It was just a wake up call.
First 50
I have to admit, riding into our first stop I was a little worried.  I dismounted as I saw my sister.  I immediately went for my stash.  Aleve and IBprofen.  My legs were aching pretty good.  I started to wonder.  Just how far I would make it.  Before panic set in though I decided to relax, walk a bit, and eat.  It was just the start of my huge eating extravaganza!  I ate a wrap, a banana, some orange, and stuff down a few cookies.  I know, pig.  Wash it down with water and gatorade.  I started feeling much much better.  My excitement returned.  As we geared backup for the next 50, I sunblocked with a fellow bikers supply.  We headed out.  

Onto 100
This was my favorite part of the ride by far.  It was flat trail riding.  My expertise.  I run on flat trails and trained on flat trail.  Time to BURN.  We ended up maintaining a pretty good pace for me.  Jake was even surprised.  We stopped at mile 75 briefly to pee and he asked, "where did that come from?"  Unfortunately as soon as the trail stopped so did my pace.  But we were able to reach Centrialia a little earlier than expected.  Was I still having fun?  Sure.  Next 100 is where it hurt.

Mile 100
We stopped for more food and met up with Jake's lovie and my sister.  My husband and kids were not going to make it in time.  My Mom and Dad were close but we had to keep moving.  I ate a popsicle, more sandwhich, some fruit, and more gatorade.  As soon as we departed the beloved half way mark is when it proved not to be enough.  

Miles 100-150
Two miles out of 100, I started cramping on the inside on my right thigh of all places.  I had the throw my leg straight out and come right down to a coast.  I instantly start downing my water bottles and popping electrolite jelly beans.  It help a whole lot!  My pace really suffered but I wasn't going to quit.  The sun was shining, and I was sweating.   The miles seemed to get longer.  More and more parts started to get irritated.  Anything that touch the bike burned.  Not so much my bum like I thought it would.  The cramp in my leg kept coming in but through the power of water and relaxing, I was able to pedal through it.

I ate so much.  I ate snickers, sandwhiches, fruit, cookies.  I drank gatorade, water, ice t.  I think I even had a pepsi at one point.  I feel sick just thinking about all the stuff I ate but my body demanded it. 

I was thankful for no bike malfunctions.  I was thankful for no flat tires.  I was thankful for my riding partner.  I was thankful for pit crew who waited for me at each stop.  

The last fifty of course was the hardest.  As we set out from our last 25 miles to go mark Jake told me in order for us to make it in by the cut off we had to hold a 16 mile pace.  I pedaled my heart out.  It was a long tedious ride with lots of traffic, rough road, plently of hills.

My mile 175 it wasn't my legs that were giving out, but my hands.   I was unable to shift the bike from gear to gear.  It took everything I had to switch gears for hills.  At the end, I just couldn't do it anymore.  My toes burned, my legs ached, and I was ready to be done.  Jake was so awesome.  He said with all his heart and sincerity,  "I am so proud of you."  Well if that didn't keep me going.

Why yes, that is me, eating again, and ready for bed!
Portland, not a complete fan of.  It has bad mojo for me.  I do believe it is cursed.  So you bet your bippy I was brave to ride my bike there.  But we made it!  The finish line closed at 9:00.  We came in about 8:30.  4:30 to 8:30 Long tine on bike.  Thank you to the best riding partner ever!  And thank you to my friend Rachel for so generously lending me her bike!  I thought of how grateful I was to her.  How selfless it was to lend me something like this.  Love her bike.

5906  Bradford Erika -   Black Diamond, WA United States 4:47:21 20:35:04 15:47:43

I recovered slow.  Apparently I irritated the nerves in my hands.  Buttoning pants and bra's, counting money, turning the car on was a challenge for the next couple weeks.  But guess what, I'm back and recovered.  It's all better.    

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