Met up with my friend Jen, Jen was planning on doing the 62 miles with me but both of us were wondering about the weather and decided we would just play it by ear. After getting all dressed. I was wearing a pair of bike carpi's with my running Cold Weather Under Armour over them a short sleeve bike jersey, a light black jacket, and a heavier running jacket (that I wear when temps are under 30)covered by my bike jacket and my running gloves. Should be plenty of clothes right? Finally layered up we headed out. I followed behind Jen letting her set the pace for the first part of the ride. She hasn't done as much riding as I have and is not quite as fast (it's kind of fun to say that since I'm so slow!) The first 10 miles is pretty flat with just a slight uphill, there were times I really thought the tips of my fingers were going to just freeze off. The toes were cold too but not bothering me as much as the fingers. We got to the first aid station and just getting off the bike warmed the toes and fingers up a bunch, from then on they didn't bother me to much.
The soggy mess at aid station one.
Not long after that aid station you start to climb a little, gently at first until you get to Carter Lake and climb up to the dam, this is killer for me. I got ahead of Jen on the climb because I just have to do it, if I had tried to stay at her speed I would have had a hard time getting through it. It's a pretty good climb and I'm not a climber...hills I need to work on them... Going up there was quite a bit of mist and a light drizzle. I frequently had water running off my helmet. At the top I had to take my glasses off as they had fogged up. I was completely undecided as to if I would continue on with the 62 miles or just do 37. I was feeling like I might be a bit behind because of the slow start. At the aid station at mile 20 my average pace was around 11.5 I think. Can I just say that Oreos is where it's at...man did they hit the spot! I talked with some other people trying to figure out if I would be the only one still heading out on the 62 and it seemed there were plenty of others, so I made the decision to go ahead knowing that if I didn't I would be disappointed in myself.
On top of Carter Lake
Going down the other side of the reservoir is pretty steep and it got pretty chilly but once down it flattened out for a little bit and the weather seemed to dry up...a little. It was pretty uneventful for awhile I chatted some with a guy that had decided with me to go for the whole 62, hope he made it I lost him some where after the next aid station.
Next stop Masonville, mile 34, by this time I had got my average speed up to about 12.5, and the home of the Masonville Mercantile & Wedding Emporium who knew? It was a very cute little town and would make be an awesome place to ride to for lunch some day.
After a quick snack and potty break and a chance to warm the toes on a little space heater I headed out. It was at this point I was going down hill some and could not figure out why I was having to work so hard, I kept look down to see if something was stuck or what my problem was, I couldn't see anything so just continued on, struggling.
It got a little better or maybe I just wasn't noticing it any more because soon we started the climb up to Horsetooth Res. It was a much more gently climb with one short steeper part, good thing it wasn't any longer as I wasn't sure I would I make it but soon I was heading down. It seemed like the next aid station came really fast although it was 10 miles down the road, I made the decision to skip it as I really didn't need another pbj sandwich or a granola bar and I was cruising along pretty good.
I did stop on the other side of the lake to take this photo and then just hit it. I stopped once I was down and in town just to call Jen and let her know that I had made it over the dam and on the downhill stretch. The ride to the next aid station seemed long. There were a few small hills...which felt large but I just plugged away. After the aid station at 53 I thought the last 10 would go pretty quick, not so much. There seemed to be a bit of a head wind but not that bad, but I was working pretty hard. Looking back now I know that I was struggling because of my break rubbing, it just made it much more difficult (duh!) at around mile 57 we got on a very nice bike path and just kind of cruised on in, although I gotta say it seemed to take forever! I actually came up with 63 miles and that last one was really long! Finally done! Course support was to end at noon and I finished at about 12:50ish and just made it for some of the last of the food (still warm!) I grabbed two pancakes and a couple of sausages along with some hot coffee and woofed it down before heading over to the car to say goodbye to Jen and her husband, as they had hung out to make sure I finished. I quickly changed out of the damp shirts and packed up to head home. It wasn't until I took off my shoes that I realized just how numb the toes on my left foot were, took some time for them to warm up.
The very cute t-shirt!
So the totals for the ride.
Total time 5:46
Total ride time 5:02 (12:54 pace)
Total climbing 3720'
Now when you may ask did I discover that my break was rubbing? When I took my bike out of my car and could not roll it into the garage. After taking a look at the tire it was obvious it had rubbed quite a bit. I guess I will be figuring out how to fix that.
This is the 3rd time I've done this ride, the first year (2008) we did around 20 miles (we were going to do the 10 and got lost) the 2nd year (2010) 37 miles and this year the 62. It's a nice little race and I will probably continue to do it as it's a nice way to start the year!