Years before I began cycling seriously, I’d see posters for the Seagull Century and think how great it would be to do that ride someday. This past weekend it came to be! John and I rode in the Seagull Century, and yes, I completed it. Yay!
It was my first century and probably John’s zillionth. I got pretty nervous as October 5th approached. Things hadn’t worked out as I’d planned in the weeks leading up to the ride. Between a heavy workload, a cold, and business travel I rode very little in mid-late September. The weekend before the ride we went out for a hilly 50 miler. I figured if I could do that at a decent pace, I could somehow complete a flat century.
So how did it go? I maintained an average of 13.9 mph for 101 miles. I started out with 15 mph for the first 43 or so miles, slowing down as fatigue set in and pain started increasing. And how did I feel? Quite good for the first half, but the second half was tougher. The rest stops helped a lot. There were four of them, about 20 miles apart. By the time we got to the third one (which marked the furthest I’d ever ridden in one day before) I was starting to really feel it, but the brief break and refreshment helped. I felt pretty good for 10 miles or so. And then all I had to do was keep going for 10 more until the next one.
Somewhere around the 80-85 mile mark, a man rode by with a cheery smile and asked, “How are you feeling?” “Great,” I said. “My left earlobe doesn’t hurt!” The young woman riding next to me deadpanned, “It will soon, though.”
The sit-bones hurt the most. That was a long time to be in the saddle and my butt was letting me know it. There were some muscle aches but really no worse than other rides I’ve done. I paid attention to taking in enough water, Nuun and food (small amounts of each, frequently) and I think that helped.
Now that I’ve done one century, would I do another? Well, yes. I think I would.