I signed up for Ironman Santa Rosa and it is a summer race, this year is happening on July 29th. Whenever I did that, I was not really thinking…. because if I was thinking, I would totally not do it. Why? Racing that early in the year means long training rides and runs during summer. And if you have ever been to (or live in) Atlanta, you know how July feels… it is a hot humid mess.
My first 100 miles of the year would be on July. I cringed when I saw that on my training peaks account, but that was, for the lack of better word, my own fault. There, July 9th and 100 miles. I have been training on the heat but it really felt that morning was hotter than usual.
I had a group of friends riding with me and we were all women. #girlpower ONE MORE TIME! #girlpower Some of us were doing the first century, some had already done and some, like me, had issues on the bike right from the get-go. One of my wheels literally came off. I left at the bike shop and they probably didn’t put right or something was not tight enough, I didn’t check and BOOM… next thing I know, my back wheel is coming off from the bike while I am ON it. Nothing happened, I fixed but that stayed with me for a while on this ride.
Now, the ride is a tough ride. Some long and not so fun hills, not a lot of shades and well, the heat and the humidity. A typical day for ATL bike ride, the triple H: hills, heat and humidity. The course has a well known part called the 3 sisters, which is a combo of 3 hills: a humongous one aka big sister, a big one aka the mid sister and a last hill that they call small sister. And for the record, it can only be called small in comparison to the previous ones, because they are all BIG. The course ends on a hill called Mother in law. Do I need to say more?
Big sister is the worst of all in my opinion, it is a 0.7 mile, 6% grade and that shows up around mile 85. We hate the race director at that very moment. It is a hard climb. Some people walk it up, and I thought about it but I refused as Caroline (one of my riding buddies) distances herself from me attacking that hill. What an awesome climber, I want to dig deep just like you. I attack it too but on a much easier pack than she does. I finish and she is waiting and taking pictures. Ha! I bitch about how had that was and we wait for the other girls. Everyone from our group CLIMBED the Big Sister. SAY WHATTTT??? Yeah, around mile 85… we did that! We are bad ass chicks right?? High five for the ladies here!
The ride was fun. As I like to say, misery loves company. We had a lot of fun. We took it easy, stopped at pretty much all stations to refuel and waited the ones behind. We stuck together and chatted a lot. I tried to chase Caroline for the majority of the time. She is a very strong cyclist, I failed most of the times. Unless it was on a flat surface, then… that is my jam. I love it and dig it. But there were not much of those moments!
The morning weather was about 70F and by the time, we finished it was 92F. It was a long day, but we managed pretty well. Once we were done, we had some energy to drive to nearest Taco Mac to have a burger, fries and beer. I would call this a win. How about you?