So when I woke up on Saturday as usual to get ready for my weekend training ride, I checked out the weather and to my disappointment, it was looking pretty wet. The weather report was calling for rain pretty much all day in the South Bay and the radar wasn't looking too good either. So unfortunately I made the call and decided to skip out on Saturday's ride. There is something to be said for learning how to deal with riding in the rain, but there is also no reason to voluntarily drive two hours to get soaked out on a ride. Anyway, I knew that if the weather was good I could join up with Awesome Ahead on Sunday since they are riding routes that are similar in distance and climbing as the SBB. The only downfall, they were meeting up at 7:30 am. Currently the SBB has been meeting up at 9 am. This meant that I had to get up at 4:30 am and be on the road by 5:15 am. Sometimes even I doubt my sanity for choosing to ride these training rides in the south bay.
So Saturday I went to bed, giving myself 6 hours of sleep before the dreaded 4:30 am alarm. Should have given myself more time to sleep, but I kind of realized a little too late the early met up time of Sunday's ride. Oh well. Also, it would have been nice if I didn't wake up in the middle of the night with an upset stomach. When I finally work up at 4:30 am my stomach was feeling better so I decided that I would still ride.
Driving down to Sunnyvale was tough because it was still dark out and I was tired. I got to the meet-up point early so I took a half hour nap in my car. Not ideal, but better than nothing. Once some of the other rides started to show up I started to get my gear ready. I went to sign in and laughed when I realized that the two riders who had signed in before me apparently had no idea what year it was. #1) 03/30/13, #2) 03/30/10. Seriously, it is the end of March and we've been in 2014 for three months now. And 2010! You are 4 years in the past! :) Oh well. A couple minutes later I heard someone say "who was born in 85?!" in a sarcastically disgusted tone. I just smiled and raised my hand. He apologized and said that he is just old. I thought it was funny, I know that I'm not the youngest one on these rides, but I am younger than most. I find it inspiring to be riding with these individuals because I want to be out there riding 50+ miles when I'm in my 50's just like them.
After doing some stretching, route review and the safety speech it was time to head out. The planned route was going to be 75 miles with 4500 ft of climbing. As you can see from the map below, I only ended up riding 48.5 miles with only 2444 ft of climbing. I'll get to why I cut the ride short in a little.
My ride started out fine. I was just going easy and didn't want to push it. Since I had gotten up in the middle of the night I didn't want to push myself too hard. I figured that it would be a better idea to just work on my endurance and not so much my speed. It is going to take a lot out of me to complete ALC and if I focus on speed I will burn out too quickly. Apparently I still kept an average speed of about 14 mph during those first 15 miles. I find it interesting that when I'm trying to not push myself I still maintain a good speed.
As soon as I turned onto Manzanita Way from Sand Hill I noticed that my Garmin had shut off. I have no idea what made it turn off, but I wasn't happy that it had. I turned it back on and it immediately prompted me to save or discard my recording. I hit save and tried to get it to start recording again. Unfortunately, there was no GPS signal where I was so it couldn't start recording anything. I'm starting to get a little frustrated with this thing.
By the time I got to the first rest stop, the frustration was just adding to the fact that I was starting to feel not so great. My hips and knees were starting to feel a little achy so I bought some ibuprofen hoping it would set in and help out. I ate a packet of peanut butter and refilled my water bottle. Pulling out of the rest stop I headed onto Canada Rd. I know this road pretty well and can usually keep a good pace on it now. However, as I got rolling, I felt very sluggish, even on the downhill. Looking at my speed, I noticed that I was going less than 13 mph, often only 9 or 10 mph. I could tell that I just wasn't having a good day and something was just off. I started to debate my choices: keep going and push though the 75 miles; or take the short cut coming up and cut off at least 20 miles. As much as I wanted to do the entire route, I could tell that my body was not going to be there for me. I was starting to feel achy in my joints, not muscle fatigue. I've had muscle fatigue and know that I can push through it one way or another.
Once I got to Polhemus road I took the right instead of the left. I made it to the lunch stop (probably about an hour and a half to two hours early) and decided I would plan my next step from there. When I pulled into the shopping plaza I could tell my upset stomach was starting to come back. I grabbed a plan bagel from a small shop and determined the quickest route home. Unfortunately, the fasted way home was a straight shot down Alameda De Las Pulgas to Juniper Serra/Foothill Expressway which was almost 20 miles. I didn't want to bother the SAG vehicle and I figured that I could make it without any problems. The route was relatively flat. Those last 20 miles were such a struggle. I so badly wanted to get home (which wasn't going to happen quickly no matter what) and my body aches kept moving all around: my hip would ache, then next thing it would be my collar bones, and then my heal. It was a strange sensation. I had to stop myself from busting out in tears because I just felt like utter crap and I was trying to get back to my car as fast as I could. I managed to keep it together, thankfully.
I assumed for some reason that I would be the first one to sign out but to my surprise I was not. In some way, that made me feel a little better. I got all my gear into my car, changed out of my cycling clothes and hit the road. I was really glad that there wasn't too much traffic in San Francisco. I wasn't really sure what to expect, since I'm not normally diving through there on a Sunday afternoon.
Once I made it home, I left all my stuff in my car, went inside and drew myself a nice bath with Eucalyptus Spearmint Epsom salt. After a good soak, I laid in bed and napped for the rest of the day.
Despite the fact that I felt rather defeated and crappy, I guess that it wasn't all bad. I still managed to get a decent ride in and my hubby said that I did a lot more than he ever would have. He definitely would have called the SAG car. :)