August 5, 2007

The Longest Ride

I needed a longish ride this weekend, and I didn't feel like riding the same local roads that I always travel.

You see, this post was supposed to be a Steelhead Half Ironman race report. But noone but me to take care of the kids on Friday made it impossible to be on Lake Michigan to pick up my race packet by Friday evening.

S0, I decided early in the week to drive to Madison and ride the IM MOO bike course. Then, I discovered that a required court appearance the morning after IM MOO was going to make me a DNS, so there was really no need to do a recon ride on a course I wasn't racing.

I needed SOMEWHERE - ANYWHERE - not local to ride!

After a Friday night spent researching possible rides, I left at 6am Saturday for northwest Georgia to ride the Chattooga Century 125 mile course (the actual organized ride is next weekend, but I needed a ride this weekend! So, anyone in the southeast looking for a fun ride Aug 11, check this one out!). Yep, you read that right - a century that offers a 125 mile option (which turned out to be 128.5 mile option - which turned into a 130 mile ride for me when you consider my -oops- missed turn).

I rarely am awake for sunrise, so I was in awe as I drove east and watched the sun creep over the horizon.

It took me just over 2 hours to reach Chattooga High School, then I parked the truck and got the gear ready.

Less than 3 miles into the ride I learned that the cue sheet wasn't accurate when I missed a turn and had to double back for nearly a mile. But, there were arrows pointing the right direction at EVERY turn, making this an easy to follow ride.

There was a nice mix of long flat stretches mixed in with some rolling hills and a (torturous) climb up Lookout Mountain.

The dogs weren't bad until about mile 75; but from then on I was rather occupied with trying to get an early start to sprinting away from the various chasing dogs. Why is it that dogs on country roads feel the need to chase me? Ever hear of leashes? Or chains? Makes me want to put a pocket .22 in my bento box for such an occasion... The only thing I saw more of than chasing dogs was confederate flags... EVERY.WHERE.

When I finally made it back to the truck I had logged 130 miles, easily my longest ride ever. I started on a transition run but a cramping stomach cut that to just 10 minutes, and then I headed home.
Today, a 5 mile run (at noon in 95 degrees with way-too-high humidity) and 3000 yard straight swim. Yep, it's all starting to come back together. And 24 hours of triathlon is less than a month away!

Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.


Bike Chick said...

Your ability to go with the flow is amazing. Were you always like that or is it working as a doctor that gave it to you?

That is a serious ride! Funny about the dogs, sort of. I bet that got your heart rate going. I like the you-are-there photos.

Megan said...

Ooh dogs. Yuck. But props for needing and taking a change of scenery. From someone that spends her life attached to the "familiar," I think its cool to stike out to somewhere new.

stronger said...

The cow photo sorta reminded me of this...

I wonder what the cows think about us?? I don't think I've ever seen a cow run. 'Stupid humans, always in a hurry. Stop, chew some cud with me... Oh well, another one gone..."

Triteacher said...

Unleashed dogs and Confederate flags, huh. Yikes.