This post could have many titles, here are a few.
"What's that mushroom cloud over the Marymoor Velodrome? Looks like total thermonuclear meltdown."
"So you think you can keep up with Tom do you...?"
Here is the abbreviated version of what went down. Tom and I have participated in the 100 Miles of Nowhere for four straight years (#1, #2, #3, #4) so I figured, what's one more? For 30 miles everything went swimmingly. Between 30-35 miles things got pretty shaky. At 39 miles the wheels. Totally. Came. Off. I putted around the track a bit more in hopes the fitness gods would feel like it has been way too long since they had a hand in some divine intervention and to try and assuage my guilt about leaving Tom in the lurch but eventually I had to head home absolutely gutted as they say down under.
Read on for the longer version.
Funny how tenacious faith is. Like my faith in my ability to ride 100 miles in four hours after all of the following.
- Not riding a bicycle at race speeds since last August.
- Not riding much at ALL since last August since I was now focusing on running.
- Hurting my ankle on 2 February and not doing much of anything for the next two months.
- Going on a two-week vacation just prior to this attempt during which my primary daily physical activity was carrying as much cheap, delicious wine to our apartment as I could carry. And using it to wash down mountains of bread and cheese.
It took just 90 minutes of riding at 25 mph to expose me for the pretender that I am.
I woke up nice and early, had a light breakfast and took my track bike down from the wall. The nice thing about track bikes is you can pretty much just put it in storage when the season is done and since it never gets dirty, you just air the tires and you're good to go. I got all deluxe and also cleaned and oiled the chain. At the last minute I recalled that Tom rode TT bars in 2012 so grabbed a set I had lying around and bolted them on. Perfect.
Ah the track...
I had a great time racing here for all those years and swinging my leg over the railing while carrying my duffel bag in one hand and my bike in the other felt just like yesterday. I was a bit early so casually got all my shot sorted.
Tom showed up a few minutes later.
In short order we got busy. We naturally fell into two-lap pulls and that seemed fine. We also pretty naturally settled into a pace that was right around 25 mph. As anyone who has ever ridden at the Marymoor Velodrome knows, even on a 'calm' day there is a headwind on the finish straight but we more than made up for it on the back side and I was seeing 24-27 all the time.
The TT bars were a GOOD IDEA. It took a ton of stress off my back which is prone to crapping out on longer rides - especially when I can't change my position much. I bet they also made it easier for me to maintain this pace as long as I did. I don't recall how long we went last year before stopping but today we went 25 miles until I suggested we pit for a snack. Although I had a bottle in my jersey, it was not so easy to drink and I did not want to bonk or get dehydrated today.
In the infield we met a fellow trackie. Hey we said, how would you like to do a nice, long warm up? "Uh... I'm just here to do some flying 200s." Damn. Back out we went.
During the next five miles I felt like my pulls were suffering a tad but not anything I was getting concerned about. In my head I had thought I would probably last fine until about 50 miles and then I might have to let Tom pull more than me. When I'm cycling fit we are similar riders in that we are both pretty big diesels so again I was not concerned with this slowing us down that much.
The dreaded fade sure crept up on me and all of a sudden I was struggling to pull even one lap at 25 mph. I think I lasted literally five laps of this and then Tom simply rode away from me.
I had a sinking feeling but was not willing to throw in the towel just yet so went up track, slowed down, had a drink and let Tom lap me. When he did I slotted in behind him and off we went.
Tom pulled two laps, I pulled one lap, Tom pulled one more and then he rode away from me again. Things were not looking good.
I can't remember if I tried to join the train called Tom one more time or not but it was not long after this incident that I just stayed up track. I tried to gather myself but this did not feel like anything I could fix in time to help. What I needed was a few months of training and then a few more months of racing!
I drank some more but my speed was not going over 20 mph by this time. I even tried to slow down for a couple of laps to 18 in hopes that I would have a resurgence of strength [From where...?! Not sure what I was thinking.] but it did not happen. Looking down I thought I could at least complete 50 miles so set out on a lonely - although not nearly as lonely as Tom - journey. The second I hit 50 miles I rolled into the infield with my tail between my legs.
Finally, Tom pulled in.
He was all smiles and made a show of stretching to help me feel better.
And then I went home. Ouch.
To his credit Tom got back out there and finished this ride! Did I mention that he rode at least 60 miles of it solo? Way to freaking go Tom. Here's proof.
And when a mutual friend asked how it went Tom just said, "Martin had to go home." How polite of him. If I'm still running this time next year I will have to ride rollers if I even want a chance. Sorry Tom.
Here are all the pictures and video.
|Breakfast||5:30 AM - Hammer Bar, some Perpetuem, tea|
|Workout Food||large bottle w/2.5 scoops Perpetuem, 1 shot of Hammer Gel|
|Time of Day||7:15 AM|
|Weather||low 50s, cloudy, dry, light breeze|
|Equipment||Raleigh Rush Hour Pro|
|Clothing||knit shoe covers, knee warmers, bib shorts, Craft Active Extreme Short Sleeve Baselayer, short sleeve jersey, arm warmers, Polypropylene gloves, cap|