Sunday, June 12, 2011

It's just a hill...get over it! Denver Century Report

The day started pretty early since we planned to meet up at 5:30. I crawled out of bed at about 4:15 after not having slept well at all. But what a beautiful morning it was. Cool with an amazing sunrise peaking around the corner of Invesco, home of the Denver Broncos, where the ride would start.
We started the ride with 5 of us. Kathleen, Sarah, Paul, Jill and myself. Kathleen and Paul being the strongest riders were soon gone. Sarah, Jill and I were together until the first aide station were Jill and I stopped to potty, and have a couple of adjustments made to Jill’s bike and Jill talked the very nice young man into keeping her jacket for her until she could pick it up at their shop later in the week. Then it was time for the climb up Lookout that Jill and I had completed a few weeks ago. It felt much easier this time around we went all the way up with no stops and I once again narrowly avoided getting hit by a deer jumping across the road. We then hit one of the best down hills of the ride. I saw speeds of between 30-35mph which for me is crazy fast, but of course there were people passing us. Always at those speeds I have to force myself not to think about what would happen if I crashed. As you ride next to Red Rocks amphitheater and down into Morrison it is gorgeous.

Morrison is such a cute little town although kind of hectic to try and ride through but is only a few blocks. As we left Morrison we came to the 2nd aid station where we met up with the whole group.
Sarah, Paul, Kathleen, Me, Jill

We tried not to spend much time hanging around but let me just say they had the biggest brick of cream cheese I have ever seen in my entire life and it tasted so good mounded on one of the freshest bagels I’ve ever had. TO–DIE-FOR! Continuing on in the beauty that is our backyard, we headed through what I guess is the lower part of Deer Creek canyon where the views were not to be believed.

I forget how spectacular the area around Denver is. You get a whole different view of it from the seat of a bike. As we exited back out of the canyon area, remember what comes down must go back up, we came to the 3rd aid station and I think this may have been the point that Jill started to say some unkind words about me, although we look happy enough.

Me I was just wanting to get passed the turn off at 50ish miles mark that would take you back on the metric century route so that I could no longer have that as an option. Things leveled out briefly as we made our way toward a suburb of Denver that both Jill and I have come to dislike quite intensely. (I believe Jill said she would not live there even if you gave her a house!) It is I guess what is called “rolling hills” although they seemed to roll more up then down. It was during this point and miles 50 to 55ish that I had a pain in my toes on the left foot that was so sharp I truly thought I was going to cry. I kept moving my foot around and was able to relieve some of the pain and finally we reached the 4th aid station and the start of what would be the last really tough climb of the ride. As soon as I walked around my foot was fine and I had no other real pain for the rest of the ride.
Jill was defiantly saying bad things about me now...and I was getting conflicting reports on just how long this hill was going to be. It went up and up and up some more, at least it seemed that way. But we did eventually hit the top and then turned back towards home or at least Invesco. The ride to the next aid station was pretty uneventful. It was not that pretty and not that difficult although the wind had picked up a little and we were pretty much out in the middle of nowhere.I kept wondering what this street was doing in the middle of nowhere and exactly where were all the cars on it were going We soon hit mile 77, our next aide station and Jill decided on quick nap.
Ok not really she actually had a brief moment of not feeling so well, but was able to conquer that quickly and we once again moved on. As you can tell Jill and I pretty much stuck together and would run into the others at the aid stations. Sometimes it was everyone, sometimes just Sarah. At time during the ride Jill and I would chat and others we just rode and went deep into our own thoughts (or private hell which ever you prefer. ) It wasn’t long before we reached the final aid station at mile 87. By this time some glorious clouds had come out and it looked as we could get a bit a rain. I was amazed how good I felt and the sentiments were echoed by Jill and a guy standing next to us. The last miles were on a bike path that both Jill and I were familiar with and we got behind a group of other bikers and we moved right along. Thankfully the path was not that busy and we were able to finish the ride strong. As we got close to the finish I remarked to Jill that I was not going to quite make 100 miles and I discussed the idea of riding around a little to get that last ½ mile or so... I then decided that it really wasn’t that important to me and I just wanted to get off my bike. As we neared the finish line we cut to the right towards the parking lot instead of actually going across the finish line. We put our bikes away, changed our shoes and I replied to a text from my Dad saying we were done and headed for burgers and beer. Imagine my surprise when we rounded a corner and there were my Mom and Dad. They had been waiting at the finish line to see us. It was so good to see them I felt terrible that we didn’t actually go across so they could see us.
We chatted with them for a moment and then headed off to buy an event jersey which I somewhere along the line decided I needed as this was my first Century and then over for that burger and beer and a chat with Sarah and Paul.
We didn’t hang out to long as all of began to get pretty tired. When I arrived home I found this waiting for me.
A gift from my oldest son, It of course thrilled me that he left this for me (the boys are out of town with their dad) and that he remembered how much I love the chili/chocolate combo. How thrilled I am to have so much support from my family.

The day was a raging success and I thank all of those that rode with me and helped me to be able to finish it. I have to say that I cannot imagine a better experience. I never really felt like I hit the wall. There were some miles that were hard sure, but I never really wanted to quit (although I joked about it) or felt like I wouldn’t make it. I credit Jill with much of the credit for keeping my spirits light. One day after and although I’m tired (didn’t sleep well again) and STARVING I feel great. I’ve got no soreness to speak of and can’t believe my legs feel as good as they do...not to mention my a$$! :)


99.32 miles 7 hours and 35 minutes ride time (started my garmin late so these are from my bike computer)
Average pace 13.1 Top speed 38.5
Heart Rate 118 Ave 153 Max
5057 calories burned...I hope this is true because between Sunday and today I've consumed at least that many extra!

Favorite quotes of the day:

From Jill-
“If I had a gun.. I would shoot you!”
“We must have climbed at least one fourteener today”

Random lady at the first aid station talking to the mechanic.
“I’m having a problem with my gears, I knew before I started they were going....”

Random girl met in the bathroom line and then passed by on the ride.
“I’ll have my eye on you Julie” after I said I couldn’t wait to get passed the 50 mile turn off to do the metric century, thus avoiding the temptation to cut the ride short.

“I can’t wait to find out about the octopus” as she passed me at mile 70ish...referring to the fact she was reading on the back of my shirt in the potty line.

Random people in the bathroom line at aide station 4.
Random person #1“I heard there were 2 more miles of climbing”
RP#2 “Wow because I heard 20 more”
RP#3 “That’s funny because I heard 12 more miles”

Random guy at final aide station
“AMEN SISTA!” somehow talk these wonderful ladies into an all women’s century (or metric century) coming up in August.....


Anonymous said...


Congrats! I would love to ride there someday.

Jennifer said...


Terzah said...

I doubt I'll ever ride a bike that far, but it was fun to read your report. I also always love your pictures. Aren't we lucky to live in CO? Congrats on the century!

Gaye said...

Nice work! I did a trail run in Golden yesterday and saw all the bikers heading up Lookout. :-) I'm doing the Venus 65 miler with a couple of friends, you guys should totally do it!

Jill said...

Famous quote of the day Jill heard: "There's really only one more hill after Lookout Mountain." Bahahahah....that monster looking thingie at mile 50ish is when I wished I owned a gun. :D

Kidding, of course. I was just uber jealous your foot problem went away after that miserable aid station where we got conflicting reports on how many more 14ers we were going to climb - 'cause my feet bothered me for the rest of the ride. Thankfully, I figured I could move them some and that helped a lot. I asked my PT today what was causing it and he had no clue. Guess he's fired!!

You made my day very special, thank you from the bottom of my heart. And we're inviting your mom and dad for Mexican and margaritas - they ROCK!!! I sorta got emotional when your mom hugged me, and she didn't even know who the heck I was!! Awesome people - and they raised an awesome daughter!!

Julie said...

What a magnificent day! I'm so in awe of your strength and stamina! You ladies ROCK!!! the quotes at the end were great. I'm on my phone so I'll have to check out the pictures better tomorrow, but it sure looks like a lot of fun. WTG!!

Matthew Smith said...

What a great ride! Those pics were so beautiful. I don't know if I could ride up some of those climbs. Way to go!

Christi said...

Congratulations on a great ride! I am so happy that you and the gang had a great time. I wish I could have been there but I was out riding in a 50 miler in Fountain. Maybe next time!

Christy said...

Awesome ride! Congrats!

Aimee said...

Woohoo! Congrats on the century!! Awesome, awesome, awesome!

AND, Venus de Miles! I'm doing the century and you should totally do it too!!! :)

Duane said...

Nice job!!!! Let me know when you want to ride!

Anonymous said...

OH yay! I forgot you rode with Jill!!! That is soo incredible! You ladies are amazing!

Kathleen said...

Great Job Julie! I am so glad you had such a wonderful experience especially since you were concerned about it.

tri like mary said...

Great job Julie! You're lucky to live in such a beautiful spot.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on the ride!!!

JohnP said...

OMG I'm so proud of you! Thats huuuge! What an accomplishment! You rock!

Bagel & Cream cheese? You're nutz! I dont know if I could stomach that on a long ride haha! You are hardcore!

I like that you noticed the 'quiet time' where people are lost in their own thoughts and pain and suffering. That is an experience ;)

Ahh that sucks about the finish line :( Thats so awesome of them to come out to watch though! You are lucky!

Pics of the Race shirt/jersey! You totally earned it, I am glad you went back and got one!

Sounds like a solid ride! I am happy for you!

I've been swamped with training and missed your post - I had to dig this up because I didn't want to miss your ride report! Awesome stuff!

She said I need a goal said...

Clearly I'm catching up here and haven't even started to read this yet, I was checking the comments first. And yes I read the last chapter of a book before I get to the end, I hate suspense!!

So congrats and how I'm going to read the actual post. haha

She said I need a goal said...

LOVE IT! (done reading now)