We started out at a slow pace only a few minutes behind schedule. Yes! A huge improvement over last year's chaos.
Harvey and Edin were running even later than me, so they joined in on the fun for on lap 2. Steve and Jay were training for Ironman Lake Placid, so their strong bike legs hung with Karen and me for 2 laps and then left us in the dust.
Laps 1-3 were cool and delightful. All was going well. Groups of riders arrived throughout the day and joined in for as many laps as they wanted. Lap 4 started getting harder and I told myself that after 5 laps, we would be past halfway and it would get easier. Katie joined Karen and me on laps 6 and 7 (I think) and explained her sister's new diet plan (hard-core paleo), which gave us lots to talk and think about as Karen rode up the hill away from us. Katie dropped off for a food break on Lap 8, but I caught back up with Karen and we had a low-glycogen laugh when Harvey passed us on THE hill while regaling us with a story about how he had eaten deep-fried twinkies with bacon on them at dinner the previous evening. Somehow, I missed the segueway into this conversation from the previous discussion and the result was so comical that we ended up laughing the whole way up the hill, which was a welcome distraction. Lap 9 was tough, but I had told Karen on Lap 8 that it would be my turn to lead so she could draft. Yes, I realize that 2 out of 10 laps is not much leading, but Karen likes to be first so she resists drafting just like Natalie does. So, I had to bring it on Lap 9 so that Karen didn't pass me. Katie and Paul joined us for Lap 10 while Karen went into honey-badger mode and stopped talking. I decided that she needed some encouragement, so I channeled my inner Natalie and sang songs for the entire lap. Unfortunately, on the last 10 miles of a hilly hundred, your mind does not always work exactly right, so I could not remember all of the lyrics to any song. A sound early in the ride had put Prince's "When Doves Cry" into my ear, so I sang that. Some Journey, some Neil Diamond ("Sweet Caroline"), some Britney ("3"), some Adele ("Rolling in the Deep"), and even some Billy Joel. When no one joined in except for Katie on Sweet Caroline, I decided that the problem was VOLUME! I needed to sing louder! Ha. OK, it might actually be a talent (or lack of talent) issue. So, the singing totally worked because my last two laps were the fastest of the whole day. BOOM!
Here, Karen and I are comparing our mileage because her Garmin had us going short. This photo makes me giggle every time I look at it. Natalie suggested that we caption this one "OK, we are 0.3 miles short, so we will have to do the cul-de-sac three times to get to our number." Don't laugh. We would definitely do that.
Photo by Tom Richardson.
After the ride, it was time to RUN! Brooks Running sponsored a special prize for a person who rode and ran - a certificate for a free pair of shoes! What more could you ask for? Because Karen had gone honey badger on the last part of the ride, I was a little concerned that she might not want to run. However, after I went inside to visit the restroom and returned outside to start running, she was already gone! She employed a run/walk strategy and made it very difficult to catch up. Anyone thinking about doing a longer distance race should consider using a run/walk strategy (walk at planned intervals, walk the aid stations, walk the hills, whatever) because they really do seem faster than straight running, especially if there are big hills or if it is hot. The walking portions, if you keep a swift pace and don't lollygag, don't lose very much time and allow your heartrate and body temperature to return to normal so that you can run better for a longer period of time.
And then there was Katie. Katie has long sandbagged her running ability. Sure, she swam in college and regularly kicks my behind on the bike, but she has always maintained that she is "not a runner." Well, just let me tell you that she IS a runner. Katie trained all spring with her local running store's team and she has gotten very fast. It took me two miles to get anywhere near her on this run and when I clocked her pace on my Garmin, it was 8:00 minutes per mile. I distinctly remember her telling me at Wisconsin that "I can't run 8 minutes per mile" while were were actually running at that pace. So, I've proved it yet again.
A nice surprise at the end of the ride was the arrival of my friends Mickey and John. Mickey and I met as members of our neighborhood's playgroup and our kids are approximately the same ages. Mickey has recently completed her first triathlon and she runs a lot.
Isabel and her friend ran one ten-mile loop with their camelbacks. Karen and I were inspired and may give that a try one day. Jennifer (training for Ironman Arizona) rode at least one lap. Cindi beat last year's record of 5 laps with her platform pedals and passed a lot of people, including me. Lisa rode 3 laps. Mike and his buddy rode several laps and I think they also ran a loop after their ride. Jason, Brian, Chris and Dave all rode 3 loops and ran once around the neighborhood loop after each one.
Dave's neighbor Kate rode several laps way faster than us and then she ran too!
Sue and Neil are training for their first Ironman races this year (Louisville and Arizona, respectively), so they each rode 70 miles with a transition run after. Sue even did her transition run on the trails at the Leita Thompson park! Bill did hill repeats. Justin rode a little with every group, which was nice because then we all got to talk to him.
Katie staggered her laps with under-the-tent chill time. Becky and her sister (who are both signed up to do Augusta 70.3!) ignored my flat route cue-sheets and drove out to do full goats on Stroup Road.
Karen, Jay, Steve, Harvey, and I finished the full 100 miles plus a transition run of 2.7 miles or more.
After finished their rides/runs, folks stuck around to enjoy Doug's fabulous BBQ and the delicious dishes that people brought. Steve's wife, Buffy, made awesome broccoli salad with bacon in it and Becky made her fabulous rum cake. Karen (after some encouragement from me) and I enjoyed the delightful coolness of the Chillinator after we finished our rides and run.
Together, we raised a total of $1,556 for the AFLAC Childrens Cancer Center at Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta. They will use these funds to buy bio-feedback machines (similar to the heartrate monitors we wear while training) to help the kids manage their pain better.
Part of the 100 MTN was the inevitable waiver. I told you, I am a rules girl. However, to encourage waiver signatures, I created an elaborate system for folks to obtain their drawing tickets after signing their waivers. Every participant received a GU Brew water bottle, but the following lucky folks won additional prizes because I drew their tickets from the magic barrels:
- Bryan Estes won the bike grand prize, a GU Sampler Package of all of GU's nutrition products
- Bill Haynes won a Specialized 100 Miles OF Nowhere bike bottle from my Fat Cyclist package
- Karen Richardson won the other 100 Miles OF Nowhere bike bottle
- Katie Pothier won the Banjo Brothers bento box from my Fat Cyclist package
- Lisa Bennett won the Brooks Gift Certificate for a pair of free shoes
- Shanna Rome won the Brooks Jet Blackberry t-shirt
- Adam Teja won a sampler package of GU gels.