In addition, I also set other milestones for myself. I had to complete my first triathlon, I had to finish a full marathon, and the final big hurdle was to prove to myself that I could ride a full century—100 miles. For some reason, this was the hurdle I was least worried about. Don’t get me wrong, I knew this was going to push me to my limits, it is just that for some reason, I never doubted I could do this. I am not really sure why I was so confident, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that I actually have previous experience with long distance cycling.
Yesterday morning Sean and I rose before the sun to tackle this latest challenge, the Spring Rush Palm Desert Century. We decided that instead of driving to the start line where we would need to worry about finding parking, we would instead just ride our bikes down there. What is another three miles when we were already going to need to complete 100? By the time Karrie and Leslie arrived, we left a little after 7 am for this next step in my Ironman journey.
The ride down was amazing. There were very few motor vehicles, so for the first time I could race down a hill at top speeds without any worry that I would be hit by a car. The fifteen miles down was a completely different experience than the way up, and we were at the rest stop at the bottom in no time.
After the break with the downhill, and after meeting the two Canadian travelers, the rest of the race was relatively easy both mentally and physically. At mile 85 I realized I had gone twenty-five more miles than my longest training distance, and my body had not completely rebelled.
The last 25 miles, Karrie, Leslie, our new chemistry teacher friend Sharon, and I had ridden in a pace line straight to the finish, and it felt great to do so as a team. I am not sure why, but this century was so much easier on my body than my full marathon. Today, one day after riding 100 miles, I was a little bit sore, but I was still able to hike up a canyon with my family. Once I reached the top, I was able to run back down again with my daughter--so these sore legs were still able to pound out a little two-mile trail run, not bad. So while I know that adding a 2.4 mile run and a full marathon to yesterday's one hundred mile challenge will not be easy, I feel that if I continue pushing my limits, I will be as ready as I possibly can.